The Day Before Creation starts with one 'small' question on the first line of Genesis, and opens door after door — from the origins of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet Letters to the birth of the entire Cosmos. Malkah is just a little kid when her father tries to teach her to read Torah. But they don't get very far. As Malkah reads aloud, her questions multiply. They take her on a lifelong journey deeper and deeper into Jewish mystical texts, far off places, encounters with ancient gods, and ultimately into the nature of existence itself. Malkah discovers an earlier, hidden creation story right inside the one offered on the surface of Genesis.
This animated short film takes us on a journey that explores sacred text, legends and mythology, science, and archaeology before being able to return to the question at hand.
Written, directed, and produced by Mira Amiras. Illustrations and calligraphy by Josh Baum. Animation by Sam Baum and Baum Studios with Mike Jennings as animation producer. Music by Yair Dalal and Dror Sinai. Sound Design by Jeremiah Moore.
Praise for The Day before Creation
"For a very beautiful stroll through the spiritual garden of riches that includes the Kabbalah, pour yourself a glass of something special, become still, and enter the world of Malkah, asker of questions and collector of wisdom. Her coming of age is guided by the unknown and the unknowable (not to mention her acrobatic black cat) and leaves us with a greater sense of the landscape of letters writ upon parchment. Akin to the graphic play of Mitsumasa Anno, the film quotes widely from art, archaeology, tradition, spirituality and the hearts of the artistic triumvirate: storyteller, illustrator and composer. They collaborate to invest every moment with detail, from the moving and changing name of the Divine in the windows of an ancient, holy town, to the tents and music of desert peoples, and the suddenness of the act of creation. This is a film to be savoured, and an inspiration for further reading in Amiras’s forthcoming Malkah's Notebook: A Journey into the Mystical Aleph-Bet, and its companion, Crumbling Old Books in the Dusty Old Library, both promising to expand our understanding of humankind's eternal quest for the Source of All through the eyes of our young seeker."
Rabbi Elisheva Salamo | San Francisco and Johannesburg