Although finals have consumed me ravenously and I had a massive stomach ache, I dragged myself to see Sailor Moon the Movie at the Webster theatre. I was enchanted by the incredible production, written by Eric James, Elana A. Mugdan, and Kris Woodside. Although on a budget that was charitably refered to as shoe string, the incredible Avery Danielle and Nick Uhas provided a beautiful love story that brought down the house with applause. Beautifully acted, beautifully shot and beautifully choreographed, and couldn’t have been made by a nicer cast.
The perfect film was only let down by the fact that for now, any continuation is put on hold. It’s the only film I actually looked forward to in a season and I can’t believe it ends now! As I walked home, I realized that much of my frustration had to do with how few films are being made that made me truly excited.
Sadly, some of that hole is also that I feel I myself am not represented in films well. In the Jewish world, all I can look forward is an Adam Sandler film and another Holocaust epic, or perhaps some controversial film on Israel. For the most part, Jews are shown in the most cliche fashion and nothing seems to change. Hollywood churns out films with little eye on what the audience wants.
What’s devastating is that with today’s technology, films are easier and cheaper to make. They no longer require big box Hollywood, they can be made with a budget of several thousands, and be incredible. Sailor Moon shows that if a complicated and special effects requiring film can be done so well, there is no limit to the stories Jewish filmmakers can tell here.
Elana Mugdan inspired me to start telling my own stories, stories that aren’t just about suffering and scholarship (to steal from Jewish historians) but really tell tales that are being ignored by Hollywood, such as the stories of Agunot, women denied divorces, the pain of being a Jewish single, the hidden terrors and triumphs lurking behind every window. We need to start supporting small budget films by Jewish filmmakers that express the raw dreams.
Despite the rumors of Zionist control, Hollywood isn’t hearing us. Maybe we need to change that.