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Mostrare Revisione 15 creata 05/11/2020 da Buzbee.

  1. [Soft music.]
  2. And action!
  3. It's huge.
  4. It's mind blowing.
  5. I have to keep reminding myself
    that they're not real.
  6. It's like a historical movie, actually,
    what we are doing here.
  7. This is 90 percent of my filming
    experience, here?
  8. Is like this.
  9. Come over here to do a show
    set in Williamsburg,
  10. to do it in Berlin, it kind of,
    you know, plays with my head.
  11. A series in Yiddish, for me also,
    personally, I think it's a great thing.
  12. Going to be dealing with a language
    that no one understands.
  13. I mean, we're dealing with costumes
    and rituals no one understands.
  14. But the essence of what's happening,
    that's universally understood.
  15. This very beautiful and unique story
  16. that shows kind of like, both worlds.
  17. I don't think it's a story about
    the existence of God, or something.
  18. It's more about...the right to
    have your voice.
  19. And people like me never really
    had that opportunity.
  20. We never saw ourselves reflected back
    in the stories being told
  21. in popular culture.
  22. So we didn't really know
    how to create our own stories.
  23. I think this is the first show, ever,
    to accurately portray
  24. the Hasidic community.
  25. These are real people, and their
    experiences are very universal,
  26. and very relatable.
  27. When the community watches it,
    and there is somebody like me,
  28. watching it, and sees, this girl
    lived exactly like she lives.
  29. And, she was able to muster
    the courage to follow her dreams.
  30. Maybe this girl can, too.
  31. When I met Ann and Alexa,
    and I became friends with them,
  32. I realized, if anybody is ever going to
    really be able to grasp
  33. what the story is about,
  34. and to really execute it in a way
  35. that is going to have a
    positive cultural impact,
  36. it's these women.
  37. After I met Deborah,
    I read her book,
  38. and I thought it was amazing.
  39. I mean, I read it in one sitting.
    I couldn't put it down.
  40. And then, she said:
  41. "Well, why don't you make my book
    into a TV show?"
  42. Anna and I wanted to make a show
    for a while,
  43. in which we could work through
    a lot of the topics
  44. we discuss a lot, especially
    about being Jewish in Germany.
  45. To me, the story is about
    a young woman, who
  46. is searching for herself,
  47. and she is searching for
    her community in the world.
  48. Esther is a 19 year old girl.
  49. She was born and raised in
    Williamsburg, Brooklyn,
  50. in the community called Satmar.
  51. - Don't forget, Esty.
    He speaks first.
  52. She grows up in a very
    religious neighborhood.
  53. And, frees herself from an
    unhappy arranged marriage,
  54. and flees to Berlin.
  55. Her story is unique, and romantic.
  56. We just felt it was so different,
    that somebody would leave
  57. this very insular community
    in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York,
  58. and find their way here,
    out of choice.
  59. From a very young age,
    she always felt very different.
  60. She's always been told
    that she is very different,
  61. because of the fact that
    she always has questions within her,
  62. and she has that 'chutzpah,'
    you can say.
  63. The Satmar Jews are a
    Hasidic community,
  64. originally from the town of
    Satu Mare, in Hungary.
  65. They are mostly descendants
    of Holocaust survivors, and
  66. started by Holocaust survivors,
    in New York, after the war.
  67. This kind of makes them
    a little bit different
  68. than a lot of other
    Hasidic communities,
  69. because they really developed
    what they were about, after the war,
  70. and not before.
  71. It is founded by people who are
  72. with the most immense trauma
    we can imagine.
  73. For the first generation,
  74. I would say even for the first
    two generations,
  75. this trauma was a very driving force
  76. behind the ideological structures
    of this community.
  77. The Satmar community is also special,
    in that Yiddish is their native language.
  78. I think they can be credited,
    to some degree,
  79. with keeping Yiddish alive.
  80. - But why Berlin?
    - Think about it.
  81. - What?
    - Her crazy mama lives in Berlin!
  82. It was very important to us,
    to make changes in the present-day story,
  83. from Deborah Feldman's real life.
  84. Because she is a young woman,
    she is a public figure,
  85. she is a public intellectual,
    and we wanted Esther's
  86. Berlin life to be very different
    from real Deborah's Berlin life.
  87. So, in a sense, the flashbacks
    are based on the book,
  88. but the present-day story
    is entirely made up.
  89. You have to go beyond cliché,
  90. beyond our projection
    onto what the life might be
  91. in a community like this.
  92. It was very important to us
    to get not just the look and feel
  93. and costumes, and rituals,
    and everything correct, but
  94. to inhabit the ideas of
    these characters' worlds,
  95. in a way that felt authentic,
  96. but also heightened,
    because it's television.
  97. I just, in general, feel like,
    when you're showing
  98. different communities,
    especially communities on the margins,
  99. you want to get the details right.
  100. We knew it was so important
    to get people on board,
  101. not just as actors, but behind
    and in front of the camera,
  102. who are from this community.
  103. So one of the first people we hired
    was Eli Rosen,
  104. who is an actor, translator,
    and kind of specialist,
  105. when it comes to Yiddish.
  106. Eli Rosen was like our guide.
  107. He was our spirit guide.
  108. He not only translated the scripts,
  109. he coached the actors in Yiddish,
  110. he helped us with all the
    cultural details,
  111. and he played the rabbi.
  112. When I was given the opportunity
    to help ensure
  113. that it was representative,
    and that it is authentic,
  114. um...I, uh...
  115. jumped at it.
  116. Directing the scenes
    which are set within or
  117. in the ultra-Orthodox world,
  118. I would have been lost,
    without this advice.
  119. We had two research trips
    to New York,
  120. with our entire team,
    to not just watch and look,
  121. and touch everything we saw,
    but we got access
  122. to meeting people who are
    still in this community.
  123. We really tried to offer
    our heads of department, as much access.
  124. These trips, of course,
    are like a hunt, for impressions,
  125. for feeling atmosphere,
  126. for just watching,
    just taking things in.
  127. It was a kind of
    image-based research.
  128. We looked around.
    We took so many pictures.
  129. And we tried to inhale this world
  130. by the visual impressions we got.
  131. While we were taken around New York,
  132. we went on a tour of Williamsburg,
    by an ex-Satmar woman,
  133. who had grown up there,
    she had her first child there,
  134. and had been married, and everything.
  135. She walked us through
    a lot of Williamsburg,
  136. and the traditions within
    the exterior buildings.
  137. Silke was taking lots of notes
    for her world,
  138. and I was taking lots of notes
  139. for the characters
    that I was going to be building.
  140. We started shooting the past,
    like the Williamsburg parts,
  141. and then, we moved to Berlin.
  142. So, suddenly, something felt different.
  143. Also, it's moving from Yiddish to English,
    and different outfits and makeup.
  144. Suddenly, the hair -- and there was
    so many different hairs, right?
  145. There is bald, and there is this,
    and there is the wig, and --
  146. Esty has so many faces.
  147. I had spoken to Deborah Feldman,
    before we started the project,
  148. about her personal experience
    of transitioning
  149. from Satmar modesty clothing,
    to Western clothing.
  150. She said it took her a long time,
    and it was a slow process,
  151. and she pushed herself
    to experience
  152. wearing T shirts,
    and showing her arm,
  153. and showing more flesh.
  154. She said it did take a long time.
  155. So, I wanted to show that.
  156. I wanted to reflect Deborah's experience,
    with Esther.
  157. It was so hard to create, in a way,
  158. a production that is much like
    a period film,
  159. that plays in the world of today.
  160. To create the costumes for that
    was a very big challenge.
  161. Much like the sets that played
    in two worlds,
  162. we had costumes that played
    in two worlds.
  163. Plus, a character who has an arc,
  164. not just in her character,
    but in her looks, and in her clothes.
  165. Our production designer
    knew which exterior locations
  166. we were going to be using there,
  167. and built, made to measure,
    the sets here,
  168. to sync with those exteriors.
  169. We have complicated locations,
    because we shot
  170. most of the New York part,
    here in Berlin.
  171. - Why Germany?
  172. The other movies that I did before,
  173. we came through the windows,
  174. and now, we do everything inside.
  175. So, maybe, this is a very first
    experience, for me. Yeah.
  176. Wolfgang is an incredible
  177. He has shot some of the most
    incredible documentaries.
  178. He is able to work with natural light.
  179. He is able to work spontaneously.
  180. We joke that he is like
    the hand held steadicam.
  181. He is good at combining
    different kinds of light,
  182. which, because we were matching
    set interiors with real exteriors,
  183. the lighting was very delicate,
  184. and Wolfgang was
    incredible at that.
  185. When I watch material
    in post production,
  186. I think it is very difficult
  187. to see what was inside,
    and what was outside,
  188. what was in New York,
    and what was shot in Berlin.
  189. - She's not here?
  190. Shira Haas is a talent.
    What a face.
  191. I mean, she only needs
    to move a part of her face,
  192. and can make you cry,
    or laugh.
  193. Shira is just an
    enormous, enormous actress.
  194. So talented. So gifted.
    Such a hard worker.
  195. It was pure joy.
  196. Every day, it was pure joy,
    to work with Shira.
  197. I think that what is really
    beautiful in Esty,
  198. I think that she
    really really really,
  199. even though she has been told
    all her life that she is different,
  200. even though she feels like
    she is different,
  201. she always tries very, very hard
    to fit in. Really.
  202. And, she really wants to find
    that feeling of belonging and happiness.
  203. We have, sort of, four main characters.
  204. I mean, Esther is the main character,
  205. but the other main characters
    are all Satmar characters,
  206. who are dealing with being
    inside and outside at the same time.
  207. The thing is, she was kicked out,
    or left the community 15 years before.
  208. It is that role, that attracted me,
    really, to the whole thing.
  209. With Amit Rahav, we had never
    seen him act in another project.
  210. We just saw him in the audition.
  211. We were all just blown away
    by him, as well.
  212. He just kills it, in every scene.
    He is a natural talent.
  213. I think that he is just
    very naive, and innocent.
  214. It's not weakness.
  215. He has one truth, and this is
    the one truth he knows.
  216. - It's around here somewhere.
  217. - There it is!
  218. - In this section.
    Next to the fallen tree!
  219. With Jeff Wilbusch,
    a crazy thing happened.
  220. Our German casting director,
  221. "Oh, we have this German actor,
    who speaks Yiddish."
  222. It was the end of the day,
    and Alexa and I were really tired,
  223. and we were sitting here in the office.
  224. So, this guy comes in,
    and we were like:
  225. "Yeah, so this is what the show
    is about," and everything.
  226. He was like:
    "This is my story."
  227. And we were like:
    "I'm sorry?"
  228. And he was like:
  229. "I am from the
    Satmar community.
  230. Yiddish is my native language.
    This is my story."
  231. I think Moishe is
    a tragic role.
  232. He has a lot of issues.
  233. Personal issues,
    that he needs to fight.
  234. He is hunted.
  235. And he is also a hunter.
  236. So, he comes to
    bring Esther back.
  237. - Say it. Where is Esty?
  238. - Where is Esty, telephone?
  239. - You're crazy, Yanky.
  240. [Aerosol spritzes.]
  241. For us, the challenges
    of creating this Satmar wedding,
  242. here in Berlin, began with
    finding enough extras,
  243. who had big enough beards,
  244. and were willing to get
    all the hair and makeup.
  245. The joke on this show
    is that the men required
  246. way more hair and makeup
    than the women.
  247. - Mine is grown now.
    I wasn't allowed to cut it.
  248. It's a very complex
    cultural ritual.
  249. We wanted to get it right.
    There are a lot of details.
  250. I'm just placing everybody in
    sort of gender and age order,
  251. as well as imaginary relationship
    to the bride and groom.
  252. So, there is kind of
    a system to it.
  253. It's incredible pageantry.
  254. It's a moment of great joy
    for the family.
  255. But, they don't necessarily
    express their joy,
  256. the way other communities
    express it.
  257. I paid for everything.
  258. So really, everything
    has to work out.
  259. I check everyone's behavior.
  260. I am having fun,
    but not too much.
  261. It was very important for us,
  262. to strike the right tone
    with the wedding.
  263. Then, also, we had
    a hundred extras.
  264. Costumes.
  265. Well, the first challenge,
    and the biggest challenge,
  266. was to shoot it all
    within two days. [Laughs]
  267. For us, it was our
    big Hollywood moment.
  268. It was very hot
    when we were shooting.
  269. Unfortunately,
  270. for all of the extras,
    and actors,
  271. they were wearing
    a lot of costume,
  272. and makeup, and hair,
  273. in 100 degree Farhenheit
  274. - Every day on set,
    it's like this. Normal.
  275. - That's what I'm used to.
    - He's the king.
  276. It's hot in there.
  277. It's too hot. Please,
    don't send me in there, again.
  278. We had an incredibly talented
    costume designer, Justine Seymour.
  279. She has worked all over the world.
  280. She is incredibly flexible.
  281. It was challenging, because
    some of the actual clothing
  282. is not for sale here, so some things
    were sourced in Williamsburg.
  283. They wear these furry hats
    called shtreimels.
  284. We couldn't afford them.
    They cost more than 1000 Euro each.
  285. Each hat involves the fur
    of six minks,
  286. which seemed unnecessary to us.
    We needed a lot of them.
  287. So, a theater company in Hamburg
    made them out of fake fur.
  288. So, no minks were harmed
    in the making of this TV show.
  289. Right now, I am spraying
    and stroking the shtreimel,
  290. in order to make the fur flat,
    and look more realistic and shiny.
  291. We have had to fit them,
    to make them work,
  292. for every individual actor, yes.
    Even all of the extras.
  293. There is a tent, over there,
    full of shtreimels.
  294. We call it our shtreimel tent.
  295. Our head of hair and makeup
    department, Jens,
  296. managed to create our peyots,
    in a way that I've never seen on screen.
  297. One hundred percent
    the best peyots I've seen.
  298. It's quite interesting.
  299. Yesterday, we were laughing
    very much.
  300. When we had 150 Hasids outside,
    it was a very funny picture.
  301. Someone was saying: "Look!
    The Jews are back in Berlin."
  302. [Music.]
  303. We always talk about trying
    to portray reality in film.
  304. There is no more reality
    than diversity.
  305. That's -- just walk
    across the street.
  306. So, for Berlin,
    we really wanted
  307. to create a very colorful
  308. to the architecture we chose.
  309. We kind of returned to
    West Berlin.
  310. Kind of little locations and areas,
    and certain type of architecture,
  311. that, um, were built in the
    1970s and 1980s.
  312. I wanted to have something
    more with a freer space.
  313. More rhythm in it.
  314. Silke found a most incredible location,
    right next to the Philharmonic.
  315. No one had ever shot there, and
    it was the perfect location.
  316. It was for the music academy,
    it was built in the 1960s.
  317. It was supposed to be
    a much lighter, open architecture,
  318. post-war. It was about
  319. It was about low hierarchy.
  320. Um, mirrored by architecture.
  321. We created our own
    music academy, where
  322. Jews and Muslims
    are playing music together.
  323. It's also this crazy,
    post-colonial paradox.
  324. Like, why are people
    from the Middle East
  325. playing German music,
    at all?
  326. It has this crazy bringing together
    of unexpected worlds.
  327. That gets to the spirit
    of the show, on every level.
  328. The concept of this music academy
    is that different talented musicians
  329. from all over the world come together,
    to practice their specific instruments.
  330. [Instrumental music.]
  331. Television is aspirational.
  332. We like the idea of showing
    a version of Berlin
  333. that was full of music,
  334. that merged music from the past,
    with young people from the future,
  335. against this amazing backdrop.
  336. There is a kind of
    doubling back on history
  337. in this show.
  338. We have a Jewish character.
  339. In order to escape
    the confines of her own life,
  340. she returns to the source of
    her community's trauma.
  341. - Do you see that villa?
  342. - The conference, where the Nazis
    decided to kill the Jews,
  343. - in concentration camps,
    took place in 1942 in that villa.
  344. - And you swim in this lake?
  345. - A lake is just a lake.
  346. Of course, seeing her
    being confronted
  347. with our world,
  348. it makes us question our world,
  349. Shooting a series in Yiddish,
    um, in Berlin,
  350. which has, ironically, become
    a kind of new diaspora,
  351. in the sense that you have
    all these young Israeli Jews,
  352. all these young American Jews,
    coming back to Berlin,
  353. this is a movement.
    This is not the story of one person.
  354. Um, it just fit.
    It makes sense,
  355. that this is the place
    where we would rediscover this language,
  356. outside of a religious context.
  357. So there will be art in Yiddish.
  358. There is theater in Yiddish, so.
  359. But like, a real, Netflix series,
    in Yiddish?
  360. This is something amazing.
  361. You know, Berlin really
    wears its trauma on its sleeve.
  362. It's what makes the city so raw,
    and interesting.
  363. Esty coming here, um,
    she does the same in the city.
  364. She adds to those layers.
  365. That was really important for us:
    to close that circle,
  366. as we say in German.
  367. [Soft instrumental music.]