London, 1940. A man runs into a destroyed, shell of a building. He sees a baby on the far side, wailing in a pram. Before he can move towards her, a bomb lands between them. It doesn’t go off. He waits, terrified. Bombs continue to fall, the sky aflame. Eventually, he braves his way towards the baby and goes for help. Cut to Munitions factory, Poland. A young Jewish girl, Esther, is showered, tattooed, questioned and put in a line up of educated workers. She is chosen by the Chief officer and put to work. He takes particular notice of her and an unlikely connection gradually develops between them. She is favoured and set apart and her courage grows. She starts re-entering the factory in the dead of night, tampering with some of the finished bombs and placing notes inside them. One night she is seen, thrown to the ground and held at gunpoint. At the last second, the chief officer steps in and drags her away. London: Dawn is breaking and the bomb has been dismantled. As the baby sleeps in the man’s arms, he is handed a note. The note simply says, “From Esther, with love. Poland”
The story of Esther in Poland is based on a true story that I heard third hand. I love how it correlates to Esther in the bible, with some very interesting parallels. From the stark contrast of Esther being prepared for the King, to Polish Esther being prepared in such horrific conditions before being placed before the chief German officer. Both to be ‘chosen’. Both being at the disposal of a man in power. Their lives are not their own and yet... They rise above circumstance and risk their lives in order to save countless others. In both women we see an incredible bravery. By using their intelligence, position and innate magnetism, they persuade those in power to aid their higher purpose. My daughter recently asked me what Sacrifice means... as I shared a simplified story of Esther with her, the concept for this film was born. My daughter unknowingly motivates me to tell stories of strong, intelligent women. Women with soft hearts but fervent spirits. Both Esthers were such women. One of their stories is recorded, the other is not. I would love to create a fictionalised impression of her brave journey, to give her a voice.