A Road Trip through Generational Trauma – Treasure hits Theaters

Treasure Review

Family road trips never go quite as planned, especially when neither person in the car has different ideas and destinations in mind. Treasure, a new film being released by Bleecker Street follows a daughter-father road trip where family history, world history and personalities clash throughout the film.

The movie follows Ruth (Lena Dunham) a journalist who is on a trip to find the story of her family, and her father Edek (Stephen Fry) as they return to Poland to visit where he grew up. But while this is mostly a sightseeing trip for Ruth, who knows little about the area and the Holocaust her parents survived, except through the books and movies she’s consumed. The trip is returning to a nightmare for Edek, who left after the war and never returned. Edek tries everything he can to not go back to the places of his past, but Ruth insists, and together they go on a journey neither could have expected.

Treasure highlights the pains and issues that can be caused after a major life-altering trauma, not just for the victim but for the generations that come later. The disconnect between Ruth and Edek isn’t just in communicating but has been a lifelong problem. Not only do the two generations not understand each other, but without the basis of knowledge, often don’t consider the perspective of the other. The trauma that Edek and his wife both experienced in the Holocaust was passed down to Ruth, even if they never intended to do so.

While at first, it seems like Ruth doesn’t even take into account how traumatic it may be for her father to step on a train again, or even visit Auschwitz, even decades after he left its gates – you slowly learn she was never given all of the story or the information about what happened to her parents and most of her family. The journey not only helps Ruth and Edek open up a line of communication about the past, their current lives, and the future, but it also helps Ruth finally get a connection to her family and past that she was never afforded before.

The movie does have a lot of deep moments, and some eye-opening ones about just what it could mean for survivors of the Holocaust who return to their homelands. Can they claim what was theirs or what ramifications are there? Perceived or actual. It’s an interesting take on life after trauma and the layers of issues that linger decades later.

Treasure is opening in select theaters on June 14th.

Overall Rating:

Four Star Review

About Treasure

A father-daughter road trip set in 1990s Poland, Treasure follows Ruth (Dunham), an American music journalist, and her father, Edek (Fry), a charmingly stubborn Holocaust survivor, on a journey to his homeland. While Ruth is eager to make sense of her family’s past, Edek embarks on the trip with his own agenda. This emotional, funny culture clash of two New Yorkers exploring post-socialist Poland is a powerful example of how reconnecting with family and the past can be an unexpected treasure.


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