“The First day of the presidency, it was the first day of my life.”—Joe BidenIn February 2017, I was born into a family of Jewish immigrants.
My father, a Holocaust survivor and a professor at Harvard Law School, was the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
His name is on my birth certificate.
My mother, who was Jewish herself, is a mother of three.
(Both my grandparents, both of whom survived the Holocaust, are buried in the town of Leipzig.)
In my first year at Harvard, I attended a two-day event in which I learned the history of the Holocaust.
The event, in which the school honored its first Holocaust survivor, took place at the historic Kiel Cathedral in Berlin, the location of the Auschwitz death camp.
I was thrilled, even though I was still in high school.
The campus was a magnet for students from around the world.
I loved it.
And I had just grown up in a country that, after the Holocaust—despite its historical significance, and despite its history of discrimination and denial of Jewish rights—was a place where I could learn about my Jewish identity.
But the history and the experiences that I learned there made me deeply suspicious of the power of Hollywood.
After I graduated, I left Harvard to focus on law.
In the years since, I have been to nearly every major film festival, attended a lot of film premieres, and been invited to speak at numerous film festivals and film festivals around the country.
But, even as I have attended these events, I haven’t yet been to the Holocaust museum.
In February 2017—three years into my presidency, and almost four months into my first term—I finally had a chance to go to the museum.
I had attended the inaugural ceremony for my first film, “The Last Days of the American Dream.”
I was in the audience at the start of the ceremony when the director of the museum, Jodi Picoult, opened the gates.
I knew then what she was about to say: I don’t know what you know.
She explained that there was a movie there called “The Holocaust,” and that she wanted me to take part in a screening of it.
I took a seat at the back of the auditorium.
I could see that everyone else in the room was staring at me.
But I had to stay calm.
It was a screening, she explained, and she wanted us to watch it together.
She said, “We want to make sure you understand that it’s a movie, and not a documentary.
We’re interested in the historical accuracy of the film, and you’re not.
You’re not interested in its factual accuracy, either.”
I looked around.
Everyone in the auditoria was smiling.
But what was she trying to convey?
The film wasn’t historical.
It wasn’t factually accurate.
It just wasn’t.
I didn’t know why she had singled me out.
She had told the audience that I wasn’t interested in historical accuracy, but rather historical truth.
I couldn’t help but be disappointed.
She didn’t explain what that meant.
I asked her why she felt that way, and what she meant.
She responded that “historical truth” was the guiding principle of the Museum of Tolerance, which I had helped to organize.
The first thing I learned in my new position as director of “The Museum of the Tolerance,” and the first thing that I wanted to do as the Museum’s director was to work to educate the public about how the Holocaust and the Holocaust narrative have been distorted and misrepresented in the media and the academy.
But for a long time, I’ve been hesitant to make a film about the Holocaust because it’s such a taboo subject.
And now, with this new opportunity, I can finally make a documentary about the holocaust.
That’s the first big question I have.
And my answer to that is that it will not be a documentary; it will be a film of historical truth that I believe the American people can and should be able to understand.
But it will also be a movie that examines how the history is distorted, how it’s being distorted, and how it can be understood and challenged.
We are in the final stage of the movie.
In January 2019, I joined the Writers Guild of America (WGA) as the first woman to lead a writing group for a feature film.
My WGA colleagues and I have long been involved in making the case for making films about the history, not just about the truth.
We want to challenge and inform, not dismiss, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to do so.
I am also a big believer in the idea of the “museum of the holocene.”
We know that there is a significant and growing presence of Jewish, Muslim, and other minority people in the world today.
And while it’s true that most of these groups are not politically active, there are also many who