Centropa's first film produced by the award-winning Bulgarian Photographer's Association.
Here is a story that begins in Istanbul in the 1850s and ends in contemporary Sofia.
After the death of his wife, Matilda Albuhaire's grandfather traveled with his young son to the Black Sea port of Bourgas, where he opened a small shop in a town filled with Greeks, Turks, Jews, Muslims and Bulgarian Christians. Matilda became a teacher in the Bourgas and Sofia Jewish schools, and when war came, waited with the other Bulgarian Jews for their deportation "to Poland," not knowing what awaited them there.
But Bulgaria's Jews were not deported - the accompanying study guide provides articles and essays describing this remarkable incident.
After the war, most Bulgarian Jews emigrated to Israel; Matilda remained, and after the fall of Communism, once again became active in her Jewish community.
Matilda Albuhaire's ancestors grew up in the late Ottoman Empire. To learn more about the Ottoman Empire, visit this website by the University of Michigan's Turkish Studies Department.
In 1882, Matilda Albuhaire's grandfather moved from Istanbul to Bulgaria. See a map from that year.
The European University Institute, located in Florence, Italy, provides you with extensive online resources on Bulgaria's history.
Matilda was born in 1916, during World War I. The Kingdom of Bulgaria participated in World War I on the side of the Central Powers. Read this country study by the Library of Congress to find out more on the history of Bulgaria's involvement in the war.
In the film, Matilda Albuhaire mentions that she staged a Purim play with her class. Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from a plot to annihilate them, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther.
Read this essay to find out more about the city of Sofia.