In honor of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month, I want to introduce you to a special film called “A Reynah in Exile,” a symbolic tale about freedom from oppression. This award-winning short film, made by me, has no spoken words and instead uses written text, music and the viewer’s own imagination to convey its messages.

The film was made in an allegoric storytelling style and is layered with relevant social justice and psychological themes while presenting them in an ethereal, fantasy-like manner. The music is a compelling backdrop to the film’s story and adds drama and excitement to the overall tale. The music is an original piece—called “A Thousand and One Nights”—composed by the multi-talented composer and musician SaReGaMa.

As an underrepresented artist with a mental health disability, I wrote, directed, edited, filmed and played the main character, Reynah, in the film. (“Reynah” means “queen” in Persian.) In the film, Reynah and her family and friends face many challenges both from forces within and outside of their control. The film highlights some of the skills, tools and unique coping mechanisms Reynah uses to survive this captivity until she is able to acquire freedom and independence.

One of my intentions for the film is to give people hope when facing challenges or obstacles in their lives, especially anyone who might struggle with any type of disability. I want to remind them that they are not alone. My film relays the message that they have what it takes to overcome their challenges when given the opportunities and resources they need. Just like Reynah, people can move out of their own exile circumstances to the other side of oppression one second and one day at a time.

Just like my character, I am currently working toward self-sufficiency and economic freedom so I can take the next steps out of poverty and economic hardship. My long-term goal is to be able to continue working on “The Queen Esther One Dollar Fund,” which will support clergy abuse survivors from all faiths with financial resources to rebuild their lives and improve their quality of life.

I invite you to view the film for free below, or at the Brookline Interactive Group or Tzedeck.com.

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