Rome, 1945. The Jewish Community is trying to recover from the destruction caused by the Shoah, but their return to life and normality meets several obstacles. The one met by Anna, a young baker, is Antioco, an unscrupulous man who has eyed her business and would give his right arm to get it. A true miracle is needed for her not to fall in his schemes. Much like it happened at the time of the Maccabees.
“Hanukkah – La festa delle luci (The festival of lights)”, an animated short film directed by Maurizio Forestieri and dubbed by Luisa Ranieri and Francesco Pannofino, is about new manifestations of courage which still have in oil, which is now necessary to make thousands of sufganiyot, a traditional cake served on that day, their source of salvation.
This short film, which was aired on Rai Gulp on Sunday at 3.25 p.m., plays on the fine line between fiction and reality. It is a made-up story, though at times very likely to happen in an Italy not keen on coming to terms with its responsibilities. A fictional story has become an instrument to make a young audience grasp the significance of a celebration which, despite brightening many Italian squares with public light shows, remains unknown to most. It is a gateway suggested by the very name of the villain, which clearly reminds us of Antiochus Epiphanes against whom the Maccabees victoriously rebelled.
“Hanukkah is fascinating for kids, but not just for them,” clarified Forestieri, a master of Italian animation, who partly took inspiration from his own childhood memories for the story of Anna. He recounted, “When I was a child, I used to go to Piazza delle Cinque Scole and Boccione, a magical and unforgettable place”. This short film originated from a strong belief; “Through festivities, we can learn in a playful way about our roots, the customs and traditions of people near and far, the sense of gift and togetherness.”
Produced by Rai Ragazzi and Graphilm Entertainment in Rome, “Hanukkah – The festival of lights” was scripted by Forestieri and Anna Lucia Pisanelli.
Translated by Mattia Stefani and revised by Claudia Azzalini, both students at the Advanced School of Modern Languages for Interpreting and Translation of Trieste University and interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities.