Features Movie Review

Eva Stories: When Instagram, Holocaust, and a Diary Collide

Eva Stories (2019)

In 2019, the world was introduced to a unique and innovative storytelling experience that broke new ground in the realm of social media and film. “Eva Stories,” a short film created entirely through Instagram Stories, captured the hearts and minds of viewers around the globe. Directed by Mati Kochavi and produced by his daughter, Maya Kochavi, this project asked a compelling question: What if Instagram existed in the past? While exploring this idea, “Eva Stories” also delivered a powerful narrative and imagery as a solemn reminder of the importance of remembering the Holocaust.

The premise of “Eva Stories” is simple yet brilliantly profound. To put it simply, it is based on The Diary of Eva Heyman, where the story follows the life of a young Jewish girl in Hungary during World War II. The film invites us into Eva’s experience through her Instagram stories, as she documented her life during those horrendous times. This ingeniously conveys Eva’s life from the blissful days of youth to the harrowing experiences she and her family endure as the Holocaust unfolds.

Eva Stories tells the story of 13-year-old Jewish girl Eva Heyman during World War II. (Screenshot from Instagram’s @eva.stories)

One of the most remarkable aspects of “Eva Stories” is its ability to blend the familiar format of Instagram Stories with the grim historical backdrop of the Holocaust. The juxtaposition of Eva’s seemingly typical teenage experiences, such as friendships, school, and romance, with the gradual encroachment of Nazi oppression is deeply moving. It reminds us that behind every historical statistic, there is a real person with dreams, hopes, and fears.

The performances in “Eva Stories” are surprisingly incredible, especially by its young lead actress, Mia Quiney, who brought Eva Heyman’s character to life with authenticity and emotion. Her portrayal adds a human touch to the historical narrative, making Eva’s story even more heartbreaking. Oh, and not to mention their meticulously crafted production design, and no, I’m not only talking about the outfits. They have a tank too.

Critics argue that condensing such a complex historical event into Instagram Stories may oversimplify the Holocaust. While this is a valid concern, “Eva Stories” was never intended to be a comprehensive historical account. It serves as a remembrance to what millions of people suffered.

In conclusion, “Eva Stories” is a remarkable piece of cinematic storytelling that bridges the past and present through the innovative use of social media. It somewhat creates a precedent in the potential of cinematic writing; we’ve seen films like “Searching” (2018) and “Missing” (2023), but “Eva Stories” brings something new to the table. Besides the important message that it conveys, this innovation alone is a reason to go see the short film. In a way, this way of storytelling easily takes us to places where (or when) we could not go before. I can’t say that I want to relive the Holocaust, but “Eva Stories” asks us to empathize. It brilliantly synthesizes the impact of both storytelling in the digital age and historical narratives.

You can find the short film through their official Instagram profile @eva.stories


Journalist: Brian Alexander/204214181

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)


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