My name is Rhonda Moskowitz and I’m a Boston-based independent documentary filmmaker making a film about people whose lives are broken and who are struggling to repair their hearts, minds and spirits. Making the film is a life altering path that is incredibly meaningful, and I hope the film will have an impact.  I’m middle age and I guess I’m what people call a “late bloomer”. If the subject of creativity and age interests you, here’s a fascinating article that originally appeared in The New Yorker.  I also founded and run a group for documentary filmmakers called Connect the Docs that meets monthly at the wonderful Coolidge Corner Theatre.  We’re in our fifth year.  The Boston Society of Film Critics honored me with a Special Commendation for organizing these film salons.

seanflynnThe person who is making TESHUVA (RETURN) with me is the film’s Director of Photography, Sean Flynn. Sean is an incredibly talented cinematographer who is also sensitive and has a gift for connecting with people, which is important because we are asking our fim’s subjects to give us access to their lives in times of great crises.  Sean has traveled the world making award winning documentaries at Principle Pictures. His last film, Beyond Belief premiered at Tribeca. A film he’s working on now besides this one, The Promise of Freedom, recently won the Fledgling Award for Best Socially Conscious Documentary Film-in-Progress.
Frederick Shanahan graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Boston University College of Communication with a degree in Film Production. His student thesis film, Refract, was an official selection of the New Hampshire Film Festival (2008) and the Boston Film Night (2009). He currently works as a freelance film and video editor in Brooklyn, NY. (Note from director:  Freddy is the film’s wonderful editing intern! I’m extemely grateful to him for all the hard work and hours he’s given to the film!)
For more about us you can look on the Filmmakers page of the film’s web site.

One Response to “ABOUT”

  1. Rabbi Yossi Carron Says:

    May 4, 2009

    The following drash was written by one of the men I worked intensively with during his incarceration at Men’s Central Jail. He has been sober and studying and learning as he prepares for his eventual release. We are both very hopeful that this will be the end of this chapter in Dylan’s life and that, indeed, the holiness and hope that he has been experiencing will be just the beginning for him of the life, however imperfect it may be, that he can have. A holy and sober life.

    Rabbi Yossi Carron
    Rabbi Chaplain, Los Angeles County Jails
    California State Prison, Corcoran

    A drash from Dylan L., delivered at seder inside the Los Angeles County jails

    Matzah is the bread of affliction, but this year it became for me the symbol of the disease of addiction.

    Matzah is flat, plain and simple. Our first bite of matzah at the seder is a bit of a shock. Darn right, it’s the bread of affliction, you think. After that first bite we cover it up with charoset, dip, anything we can to make it taste like something! Iver the days of pesach we get rather creative with it: sandwiches, matzah brie, salsa, charoset.

    This is what we do to ourselves in the disease of addiction. We take that first bite of an imperfect life and we just don’t like it. But, like matzah on pesach, it’s all we’re permitted to have, So we cover it up—with alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling. No matter what we slather it with though, underneath it is still the matzah of that imperfect life.

    It takes the burden of addiction and the blessings of recovery, enslavement and freedom to understand that the plain, flat, simple piece of matzah, like the imperfect life we once tried to cover up with our addiction, is truly holy.

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