To move on from being a refugee Manfred Goldfish shut down his past. Now his daughter must uncover it. Through one family’s journey, we touch on the truth for millions of others.
Our film is at rough cut stage (76mins) and we are seeking completion funds. We have a distributor and interest from festivals and international broadcasters. We need your help now to finalise and distribute the film.
Born in Trinidad in the West Indies, Su Goldfish wonders how her European parents ended up on this tropical island. They have no family in Trinidad. When Manfred, her father, refuses to talk about his past Su is determined to uncover the truth.
When Su discovers her father is a German Jew who fled the terrors of Kristallnacht to the only place that would let him in without a visa, she wonders what happened to the rest of the Goldfish family. Is she the last one?
Told through a personal archive of photos and home movies that stretch across a century, the film reveals the inter-generational impact of loss and displacement on refugees and their families reminding us that similar traumas are being seeded in the current wave of refugees.
The Last Goldfish is an adventure of the heart taking you on a journey through memory and amnesia; via the holocaust and calypso. A gripping journey, revealing the complexity of ordinary lives and the deep need we have to know who we are and where we come from.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
The Last Goldfish details, in a very personal way, the impact of displacement and trauma on refugees and their families.
The world is grappling with the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, when millions fled war and persecution in Europe. Today, 65 million people are displaced from their homes, their families torn apart. Personal stories such as this one remind us that displaced people in the world are people just like us.
The film quietly raises questions about the politics of race, nationalism, identity and reconciliation. We have much to learn from the past.
Our intention with this film is to challenge assumptions and righteous narratives. We want our audience to imagine the long term impacts being seeded right now for the next generation of refugee children.
The film can be used by refugee and human rights organisations to explore current issues around migration. It aims to provide unique and compelling educational material relevant to a broad range of students, from school age to undergraduate and postgraduate students in many countries in the world touched by these histories.
“These stories form an important raft of work which are alternative histories to the official, main-stream narrative which often excludes them”. Artist William Yang
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
Learning from the past:
There are important parallels to be drawn between the policies of refuge and rescue in the 1930-1940s and today. Lessons learnt from those times are extremely relevant in the current climate of confusion and inadequate responses to the human disaster unfolding across the world.
Adding to Australia's migrant history:
The film will remind Australian viewers of the many diverse refugee histories that make up the fabric of contemporary Australia.
Adding to Jewish history:
The film documents the story of one of the six hundred Jewish refugees who made it to Trinidad in the late 1930s before the British colonial authorities closed this escape route.
The film's impact will be measured by its distribution through many countries: international and national film festivals, cinemas, broadcasters, schools, universities, libraries and museums. We are currently in discussion with a German broadcaster and international sales agents. The film has the potential to be seen by many hundreds of thousands of viewers.
The film is registered as part of the University of New South Wales Grand Challenge on Refugees and Migrants. This Challenge is part of the University's 20/25 strategy and brings together important research and other activities going on at UNSW relating to refugees and migrants.
We aim to engage audiences in conversation through traditional and social media. Every radio, magazine, and online interview about the film adds to public discussion of the long term impact Australian policy is having on the current refugees. Social media impact can be measured with online metrics, traditional media can be measured through coverage reports.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
The film will appeal to Australian audiences with connections to the West Indies, Germany, Canada, the queer community and the Jewish community.
It will be of interest to film festival, cinema, and television audiences in Australia, Europe, North America and the West Indies. Mature cinema goers and online audiences. Migrants and descendants of migrants. History buffs and educators.
The film will have a place in museums and libraries that deal with social contexts around Jewish German history and refugee narratives. Su has ongoing relationships with museums in Germany. These collaborations will continue once the film has been completed. Su will be available to travel with the film to talk to people about the relevance of this story today.
You can get in contact with the Director or Producer here.
Su Goldfish - Director
Carolyn Johnson - Producer