Experiencing Interruptions?

Black Fire White Fire

“Black Fire White Fire” is a documentary film that tells the story of a Holocaust Torah that journeys to Hawai'i. The documentary follows the diaspora of the Jewish people from the land of Judea to Bohemia, to the village of Polna in what is now called the Czech Republic. By the 1700’s, Jews accounted for one-quarter of Prague’s population, however recurring acts of antisemitism and the Holocaust decimated much of that population. Miraculously, 1,564 Torah scrolls, including the Polna Torah, were rescued and brought to Westminster Synagogue in London for restoration. The Polna Torah finally found a home with a congregation in Hawai’i, a congregation about the same size as the last congregation of Polna.

“Black Fire White Fire” explores the meaning of Torah, how a Torah is made, and its sacred role in Judaism and to other cultures. The Torah's history is a tale of empires and regimes, pogroms and genocides. It is also a miraculous story of survival, hope, and rebirth.

  • Sara Nealy
    Executive Producer, "Huliau' (Turning Point)
  • Sara Nealy
  • Sara Nealy
  • Keith Nealy, Associate Producer
    award-winning filmmaker, Hawaiian cultural films, industrials, multimedia production
  • Rabbi Moshe Druin
    Key Cast
  • Jeffrey Ohrenstein
    Key Cast
    "Chairman, Memorial Scrolls Trust, London"
  • Barry Blum, MD
    Key Cast
    "President Emeritus of Kona Beth Shalom"
  • Ed Green
    Key Cast
    award-winning national voiceover artist
  • Linda Lingle
    Key Cast
    "former Governor of Hawai’i, 2002-2010 "
  • Kumu Keala Ching
    Key Cast
    "cultural educator, kumu hula"
  • John Keawe
    Grammy Award-winning slack key guitar artist
  • David Grisman and Andy Statman, "New Shabbos Waltz"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    history, culture
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes 36 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 11, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    80,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Film Premiere in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i
    Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i
    United States
    November 9, 2019
    North American Premiere
  • Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival
    Santa Barbara
    United States
    August 19, 2020
Distribution Information
  • Sara Nealy
Director Biography - Sara Nealy

Sara Nealy has been at the helm of regional opera companies in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 10 years, finding fresh ways to present masterworks and introducing exciting new works. Prior to moving to San Francisco, she lived in Kohala on Hawai'i Island. There, she produced multiple films for corporations as well as for the Earl & Doris Bakken Foundation. The focus was on presenting "high tech-high touch" health initiatives and the importance of preserving Hawaiian cultural values as a resource for well-being. She had the idea for her film, "Black Fire White Fire", a story of one Torah's journey, 20 years ago. It was premiered on November 9, 2019, on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Add Director Biography