Ganef means thief in Yiddish. That is the word in which this entire short film of just under 14 minutes revolves around. There are other elements of a more internal nature. Things like trauma and the workings of a mind of a young person. Director and screenwriter Mark Rosenblatt brings us a film that is short on minutes but long on intent.
In London in 1962, a little girl seems to live a lonely life. Yet Ruthie (Izabella Dziewanska – first film) remains rather spirited despite the fact that she plays alone often with her most faithful companion seemingly being the cleaner, Lynn (Sophie McShera – from television’s Downton Abbey).
The “downer” in the little girl’s life is her mother. Mom (Lydia Watson – About Time, Never Let Me Go) has gone through the trauma inflicted on German Jews during World War II – the Holocaust. One day upon returning home after a shopping venture, the mother tells the little girl about Ganef and thievery. The young mind whirls with the new information leading to her believing that the beloved cleaner is a thief. Confusion ensues.
An investigation of trauma being passed on from generation to generation. A mother passing on hers to her young daughter. Shows how easily it happens. How trauma does not affect the person involved; it reaches out to those most closely connected to the victim. How that colours how we see things. Sometimes innocent things become something much darker.
Rosenblatt’s film has been selected and subsequently screened at 30 different film festivals worldwide. Meaning that it has caught the attention of many a film festival programmer. Because it has picked up a few awards at the film festivals, it is also under consideration for an Oscar nomination.