Premiere of "Black Fire White Fire" documentary film

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Pirates Outreach Community Center (former Hualalai Theater/former LEAD Center)

75-170 Hualalai Road

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

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You Are Cordially Invited to Attend the Premiere Screening of Black Fire White Fire

Admission is free of charge.

Black Fire White Fire is a documentary film by former Kohala resident, Sara Nealy, that tells the story of a Holocaust Torah that is now lovingly maintained by Kona Beth Shalom, a congregation on the Island of Hawai’i. You can see a short trailer about the film here.

The film follows the Torah and the diaspora of the Jewish people from the land of Judea to Bohemia, to the small village of Polna in what is now called the Czech Republic.

By the 1700’s, Jews accounted for one-quarter of Prague’s population, however recurring acts of antisemitism and the Holocaust decimated much of that population.

Miraculously, 1,564 Torah scrolls, including the Polna Torah, were rescued and brought to Westminster Synagogue in London for restoration. The Polna Torah was restored there and finally found a home with a congregation in Hawai’i — a congregation about the same size as the last congregation of Polna.­

Black Fire White Fire explores the meaning of Torah, how a Torah is made, and its sacred meaning in Judaism and in other cultures.

The Torah's history is a tale of empires and regimes, pogroms and genocides. It is also a miraculous story of survival, hope, and rebirth.

Nealy conceived of the idea for Black Fire White Fire soon after she moved to Hawai’i in 1999 where she first encountered the Polna Torah at Kona Beth Shalom. Every year, the congregation says the Kaddish, the memorial prayer, for the congregation of Polna.

Working with the help of her longtime partner, Keith Nealy (Keith Nealy Productions, Hawi, Hawai'i), Nealy finally completed editing the film in 2019.

The film could not have been made without the guidance and on-screen presence of Rabbi Moshe Druin of Sofer On Site; Jeffrey Ohrenstein, Chair of the Memorial Scrolls Trust in London; and Barry Blum, M.D., President Emeritus of Kona Beth Shalom and now serving on the Board of Directors. Award-winning voiceover artist, Ed Green, narrates the film. Grammy Award-winning slack key artist, John Keawe, provides music for some of the soundtrack. Kumu Keala Ching contributed a beautiful Hawai’ian ‘oli (chant).

Experience the first-ever public screening of Black Fire White Fire, meet the filmmakers, and learn more about the sacred Polna Torah maintained by congregation Kona Beth Shalom.

The November 9 premiere of Black Fire White Fire coincides with the anniversary of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass). The widespread violence of Nov. 9, 1938 signaled an escalation in the Nazi reign of terror. We intend to mark that sad memory with remembrance and hope.

The screening will be at the Pirates Outreach Community Center, the former Hualalai Theater, subsequently called the LEAD Community Center. Special Thanks to Pirates Outreach Community Center and Privateer's Cove restaurateur, Nick Traxler, for generously making the space available to nonprofits and the community.



Date and Time

Location

Pirates Outreach Community Center (former Hualalai Theater/former LEAD Center)

75-170 Hualalai Road

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

View Map

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