It’s 2001. 12-year-old aspiring dancer – Sasha – is in a car accident. She loses her parents and her foot, thwarting her dreams. Nine months later, Sasha moves in with her elderly Holocaust survivor grandmother – Polina – who she barely knows and who harbors a terrible secret hidden away in a locked attic that Sasha is forbidden to enter.
As Sasha struggles to understand the politics of the diverse, depressed town and study for her Bat Mitzvah she meets Alia, a 13-year-old who is constantly being harassed by local bullies who do not like her because she is Muslim. Alia’s father – Mr. Ashkani – insists that Alia try to be friendly with the Caucasian boys to help them overcome their prejudices. He leads by example by becoming friends with their parents – or so he thinks.
One night Alia, being chased by the bullies, knocks on Sasha’s door begging for help. As Alia and Sasha scramble to find a place in the house to hide, the attic door suddenly opens. The two girls rush in to the attic without thinking and then the attic relocks itself. The girls find themselves trapped with a 10-year-old ghost from the Holocaust who only speaks German.
Meanwhile, the prejudices within the diverse town emerge. The townspeople decide to blame Alia’s relatives for the girls’ disappearance. In the end, everyone must learn to understand each other or face the consequences of hate.
A Note from the Filmmaker
Pink Mist is a tween drama with a political undercurrent, filled with quirky characters – each with their own sense of humor.
My grandparents came to this country fleeing from prejudiced communities in Europe and knowing that the United States was their best hope for a better life. Today, I don’t think an immigrant can really feel that way.
And this depresses me on a deep level.
As a volunteer for a school district, I know that it is affecting our young people as well. Their view of the United States is not what my view was when I was their age.
In the 1950s racism was blatant, but by the 1970s it was lessened or at the very least looked down upon so much that it was mostly hidden from view. In the wake of 9/11, racism has slowly reared its head publicly again and I fear is on its way to becoming “acceptable” in the land of equality and freedom for all.
I could sit and wallow in a large glass of wine watching Charlie Chaplin films like The Great Dictator and wondering where I might opt to flee to someday or I could direct my own off-beat comedy to express what I am seeing and how much I hope we can change.
I don’t think my pain is unique; I think many people are feeling disappointed with life in America and my hope is this film will bring hope to those looking for it and help fuel change for the better.
If we can learn to understand one another and accept that bad things happen to good people, perhaps we can move forward as a people. If nothing else, I hope this film will allow people to laugh a little…we need worldwide laughter right now…