Jerusalem-born trauma expert Ofra Bloch forces herself to confront her demons in a journey that takes her to Germany, Israel and Palestine in the documentary Afterward. The documentary film written and directed by Ofra Bloch opens in theaters on January 10, 2020 and on VOD on January 28, 2020.
In this timely and fearless personal documentary, Jerusalem-born trauma expert Ofra Bloch forces herself to confront her demons in a journey that takes her to Germany, Israel, and Palestine. Set against the current wave of nationalism sweeping the globe, ‘Afterward’ delves into the secret wounds carried by victims as well as victimizers, through testimonies that range from the horrifying to the hopeful.
As a psychoanalyst, Ofra travels to Germany to understand how the legacy of the Holocaust informs contemporary daily life and shapes Germans’ collective identity. Ingo, an ex-Neo-Nazi leader; Johanna, a researcher of Holocaust testimonies; Thomas, a history professor; Anja, a psychoanalyst; and Horst, a fine artist, speak to the complex ways the Holocaust affected their childhoods, and continues to influence their careers and life choices.
In Palestine, Ofra encounters Samah, a psychiatrist who serves women and children impacted by the Occupation; Raneen, an advocate for Palestinian refugees; Basel, a young war photographer from Gaza; Bassam, a peace activist; and Muhammad, a professor who took his Palestinian students to visit Auschwitz. With them, Ofra explores the identity-making narratives of the Holocaust and of the Nakba, violent and non-violent resistance, and the possibility of forgiveness.
Seen as a victim in one context and a perpetrator in the next, Ofra’s journey leads all the way home, to the Jerusalem neighborhood where she grew up. The film points towards a future – an “afterward” – that attempts to live with the truths of history in order to make sense of the present.
Ofra Bloch (Director, Writer) is a filmmaker and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. She grew up in Israel, where her deep interest in the short and long – term effects of trauma originated. She earned her Master’s degree in social work at Columbia University, and completed both the International Trauma Studies program at NYU, and a training program in psychoanalysis at the National Institute of the Psychotherapies. She has volunteered with D octors of the World, where she interviewed victims of torture, and wrote their affidavits. She began making short documentaries 10 years ago. AFTERWARD is her first feature documentary.