“THE LAST GOLDFISH”— An Autobiographical Documentary

“THE LAST GOLDFISH”

An Autobiographical Documentary

Amos Lassen

Director Su Goldfish as an adult discovered that she had siblings she’d never met. Her film spans the globe from Australia to Trinidad and to Germany and is an astounding revelation not only of one woman’s discovery of her family history before and after Nazism but also the story of her reconnection to her Jewish heritage. Goldfish faces universal questions such as whether it is possible to separate oneself from one’s past and what it means to try.

Goldfish was born in Trinidad and still wonders how her European parents ended up on this tropical island. They had no family in Trinidad. When Manfred, her father, refused to talk about his past she became determined to learn about the past. She learned that her father is a German Jew who fled the horrors of Kristallnacht to the only place that would let him in without a visa, but what about the rest of the family? The story is told through a personal archive of photos and home movies. We see the inter-generational impact of loss and displacement on refugees and their families and we are reminded that similar traumas are happening once again in the current wave of refugees.

 

“The Last Goldfish” is an adventure that takes us on a journey through memory and amnesia that reveals the complexity of ordinary lives and the “deep need we have to know who we are and where we come from”. Seeing this film makes us understand that the results of displacement are deep wounds and it takes a great deal of work to put the pieces back together.

Su didn’t realize she was white when she was a child growing up in Trinidad. As an adult, she found a new family in Sydney’s LGBT community, learns she is Jewish and that she has half-siblings on the other side of the world. Her search for her lost family echoes through all those touched by forced migration.

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