Memories of Dreams

A documentary film on the life of veteran South African freedom campaigner Hilda Bernstein.

Memories of dreams is a feature length documentary that crosses time and continents to chart the fascinating history of three generations of one family who played a role in some of the major political upheavals of the last century - The Bolshevik Revolution, World War II and the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

Through letters and interviews this emotionally charged film recalls the dilemmas made by many when faced by political events; the dilemmas that attempt to resolve the moral imperative of revolutionary change without sacrificing the emotional needs of family.

The author embarks on a personal journey in an attempt to find out how history came to repeat itself in so many ways. It explores why some people choose to look beyond their own self-interest to work for a better future for all. It asks how they came to the choices that they did. Choices between family and political beliefs? Choices that echo through the years with the repeating themes, passion and politics; exile, and return; country and love and belonging.

Journeying from Russia to South Africa via England, this intimate exploration draws on the migration and conflict of the 20th Century, to reconcile the personal wounds left by all-consuming need to a fight for a dream. 

Memories of Dreams is directed by Toni Strasburg and produced by Steven Markovitz, Pedro Pimenta and Toni Strasburg with Big World Cinema, Ebano Multimedia and JBA Production. The film partners are the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, SABC and the European Commission.