Written and Performed by Debórah Eliezer
Directed by Ben Yalom
A song sung in a language I can’t understand…A dream I can’t remember.
Currently available for touring
“Eliezer is an expressive actor, and her story, lyrical and affecting, is one you've probably never heard before.”
—Jean Schiffman, SF Examiner
Debórah Eliezer cracks open the assumptions of her own identity through the story of her father, Edward Ben-Eliezer, an Iraqi Jew born in 1930, a member of the Zionist underground, a refugee, an Israeli spy, and an immigrant to America. The story follows the little-known history and tenuous position of Arab Jews in Baghdad in the years leading up to, during and following World War II. Jews had been well-integrated into Iraqi life for over 2500 years, and made up a third of Baghdad’s population in 1940. Within a decade, nearly all 130,000 were gone, expelled, escaped, or killed. Today fewer than 5 remain.
This powerhouse solo performance combines story, movement, music, song, recordings and segments of Edward Ben-Eliezer’s 2007 video interview with the National Holocaust Organization. Eliezer creates several different characters, including her father at three different ages, her great grandmother, their Iraqi neighbors, historical figures and The Land itself.
Monte Belmonte: 93/9 the River (a podcast featuring an interview with Debórah about (dis)Place[d])
“It’s a gift to your lineage. You are a lineage holder and you shared the teachings of your/our people. Thank you.”
—Seth Eisen of Eye Zen Productions
"What does it mean to see the Other in a chimerical country? I wish every American would see this show, especially those whose hearts have closed. I judge they would open up like roses in the spring."
—Dave Klaus, trial lawyer, Zen Buddhist priest