Always find the Love, Laughter & Light
The Chestnut Tree is a short film inspired by a true story. A teenage couple develops feelings of love for each other while hiding away from an evil dictatorship. They are hiding away with their families but the film only focuses on the two teens.
This story demonstrates how even yet, when a mad man's evil plot to take over the world, that still nobody can dictate the freedom of one's own mind.
The film beautifully displays that when faced with horrific and catastrophic conditions, the resilience of the human spirit will still find love, laughter and light in the midst of deep despair and darkness.
Recognition of Systemic Racism
Our mission is to bring to light that the attitude that existed during the Holocaust is born from a type of racism that systemically still exists in our society and though it happened over 70 years ago, remnants of this problem still exists within our society today.
As Anne does in the film, we need to do a self assessment on a continual basis including the recognition that if we let go of preconceived notions of others that are deep within us that are carried down from generation to generation, that only then will we see changes that can make a difference in the world.
In the film, Writer and Director, Leisa Coffman, wrote in the script that Anne, sees the blooms on the chestnut tree comparable to life and the growth of it. We can grow to provide nourishment to our selves like the blooms grow into chestnuts or not. There is more to life than just the beauty of living or just the beauty of a flower blooming on a tree. What you don't see inside is what matters most.
It is impossible to rid racism and judgements of any kind from our planet if we are not bringing our own private thoughts to the forefront and openly admit that we all act on these preconceived thoughts whether it be intentional or unintentional. In retrospect, the type of intention does not matter for they both have the same cause and effect on society...on the world.
The Holocaust or Shoah was the genocide of Jews in Europe between 1941-1945. Nazi Germany under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, and its collaborators murdered six million Jews in German-occupied Europe. The murders were carried out by a policy of extermination through labor in concentration camps.
In the camps prisoners were killed by mass shootings, gas chambers, medical experiments and death marches. Those that escaped the prior mentioned were either worked to death, beaten to death, killed by disease or died of starvation. Those who survived at all in the end, were left with the memories that we could never fathom.
As this film depicts, many families and individuals hid away to escape these death camps. Many risked their own lives to help save the lives of others by bringing food and supplies to those in hiding.
In addition to six million Jews, 11 million others were murdered under the Nazi regime. Among them were Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, blacks, the physically and mentally disabled, political opponents of the Nazis, including Communists and Social Democrats, dissenting clergy, resistance fighters, prisoners of war, Slavic peoples, and many individuals from the artistic communities whose opinions and works Hitler condemned.
The Nazis' justification for genocide was the ancient claim, passed down through Nordic legends, that Germans were superior to all other groups and constituted a "master race". Who would have you been?
Brielle Tucker & Greyson Rasmussen
Brielle Tucker is an Actress from Beaver, Pennsylvania. Brielle quickly started to admire the script and the emotion behind it. She said, "Anne’s story has created a lot of empathy from everyone who has come across it, and I am no different." As the lead character in the film, Brielle captured the essence of the script that translated the authentic storyline in a profound and heartfelt way.
Greyson Rasmussen is an actor from Louisburg, Kansas. He auditioned for the role of Peter because of the beautiful story between two very complex and beloved people. He stated, "I had family members that were put through similar experiences and it helps me get closer to some of my roots". Greyson's delivery of portraying Peter came through in such an authentic and moving way. As a supporting actor of the film he brought to life the script in a way the director intended and more.