Moishe is a young Jewish boy living with his family in Ukraine. He is conscripted to join the Cantonists in the Tsar’s army. When he hears that the Khappers come to take him away, he hides in a small pipe just big enough to fit him. Finally Moishe hears a voice calling him in Yiddish, he comes out of hiding to be greeted by the Khappers, unknown to him many of them are Jewish and can speak Yiddish themselves. They are take him to a Cantonist institution, many of the boys with him die on the journey, tortured to force him to renounce his Jewish faith and convert to Greek Orthodox Christianity. He doesn't renounce his faith, though many of his friends do. Records show that around half of the Jewish boys converted. This struggle is where we spend focus most of the film. He serves during the Crimean war and is discharged at the age of 30. He is then reunited with his family. The story is Moishe is true. It is the story of my great-great-grandfather’s life, told to me in my grandfather’s writings which he himself always wanted to turn into a film.
Religious Ties The story has a strong connection to the story of Moses. After enduring years of slavery the Israelites finally left Egypt. They travelled through the day and night until they reached the Red Sea to rest. When the people realised the Egyptians coming to take them back they panicked, asking Moses why he would lead them out here just to die. But Moses said Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” This story is in both the bible and the torah, the descendants of Moishe still celebrate passover today. (The most recent one over ‘Zoom’) For both Moishe and Moses, when it seemed there was no hope, when they were trapped and feared the worst, they were able to keep their faith, and trust that someway they would survive. And they both did.