Wow. The first trailer for Hulu’s upcoming series “We Were The Lucky Ones,” based on the semi-biographical novel by Georgia Hunter about her family’s tale of Holocaust survival, is here. And it is absolutely stunning.
The trailer starts, as the book does, with the Polish-Jewish Kurc family’s pre-war family celebration. They’re all well-dressed, bright faced, resplendent. Logan Lerman, who plays Addy, is the prodigal son, come home from Paris to the ooh-ing and aah-ing of his father Sol, played by renowned Israeli actor Lior Ashkenazi.
“My brother, back from Paris,” his younger sister Halina, played by Joey King, tells him and adds, “I’d like to come to Paris,” to which Addy responds, “to future adventures, I will be waiting.”
But instead of joyful adventures, what’s in store for the Kurcs is a harrowing fight for survival.
“My family, I keep writing to them over and over, it’s like I’m writing into a void,” Addy says from France, thinking of his family in Poland facing the Nazi invasion.
“The Germans are already at their doorstep,” Halina says.
“I just want to go home,” Addy says in the trailer, but the response he gets is “you are a Jew, travel for you is a death sentence.” Addy ends up leaving the continent for a safer place.
We see the German army occupying Poland, and Amit Rahav, who plays Kurc sibling Jakob, with a Jewish armband in the Polish ghetto. Some of our protagonists travel in cattle cars, seeing war planes fly ahead as they travel through difficult snowy terrains; others organize with fellow Poles. “We must organize. We’ve lived here [in Poland] for a thousand years, we know this land,” one of them says. We see Halina, with hair dyed blonde, pretending to be a non-Jew. We see Hadas Yaron of “Shtisel” fame as Mila Kurc, running for her life, and Michael Aloni as her husband, Selim, in a Polish army uniform with a bitter smile.
“Let our family be our light,” Sol says in the trailer.
Mila’s sweet voice closes out the trailer, saying, “The only thing I know for certain is that there’s no reason I should be alive and yet I am, and that means I have to keep going.”
The three-minute trailer made me tear up, and it’s because of how full of heart the show seems to be. It’s a tale about a Jewish family, full of the colors and textures of Jewish life despite the most harrowing of hardships. We see clandestine Jewish weddings under a tallis, Jewish celebrations in which we drink wine to honor our survival, and hear musings about faith.
It’s a tale of love, fear and of the power of Jewish family, one that seems beautifully produced and with an incredibly talented and authentic Jewish cast. And we need more of that.
“We Were the Lucky Ones” premiers on the streaming service on March 28.