My Lost Family – Danny Ben-Moshe

This is an Audible Original Podcast

Growing up in a poor Yiddish speaking home in 1950s London, teenager Lillian marries a charming older man Raymond. One day he takes their children to the local park. They never return. A desperate search begins….

A family must come to terms with the past when two missing children reappear after 40 years. As the secrets unravel in this real-life tale, can the family lay to rest the ghosts of the past?

An award-winning documentary filmmaker, creator Danny Ben-Moshe’s Audible Original Podcast expands and continues the story from his acclaimed documentary, My Mother’s Lost Children, which was reviewed as “heartfelt and unflinching” by The Times of London, “critics choice” in The Sunday Times, and “exemplary work” by the New Statesman.

Danny sets out to find the truth but comes to the conclusion that the truth can be elusive. It seems that every family has a story…and a secret. This engaging tale is told by a dynamic cast, and as the story unravels, the plot thickens. While dealing with serious issues, the story is also full of wit, quirkiness, and laughter.

Danny Ben-Moshe is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of Identity Films in Melbourne, Australia. His film, China’s Artful Dissident, was broadcast in June 2019 on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre (ABC, Australia). Danny has a penchant for Jewish stories, including Outback Rabbis (PBS) and My Mother’s Lost Children (BBC), an epic family saga told across five continents and six decades.

Prior to his career as a filmmaker, Danny was an associate professor at Victoria University and Deakin University in Australia. He is the author of more than 30 academic articles on racism, diasporas, Jewish identity, and Israel. He is a graduate in law and politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and received a PhD in Jewish studies from the University of Melbourne.

My Review

My Lost Family is a charming, emotional, often funny podcast and from the opening episode to the end I was absolutely captivated by Danny and his eccentric family. His mother Lillian, a yiddish woman now in her late 70’s reminded me so much of my own grandmothers.

What starts off quite light-hearted and funny, especially listening to Lillian trying to get Henry, her husband to open the door and answer the phone, turns quite quickly into a dark story of her past.

When Danny decides it’s time to look closely at their dark family past Lillian is concerned about how she will be viewed by the listener and as much as I wanted to feel compassion and understanding at how she dealt with her family being stolen from her when she was 19 years old, as a mother myself I couldn’t really relate and was at times shocked at her comments.

There is no doubt that life in 1950’s London for a poor Jewish immigrant family was harsh and being a young naive teenager who is swept off her feet by a rich, older Iranian jew and suddenly finds herself a mother of two toddlers by the age of 18 must have been unimaginable.

This podcast was so cleverly put together and I absolutely loved listening to each and every one of Danny’s family. Whilst the story does centre around a tragic and horrific event and listening to Lillian recount her memories is heartbreaking and very emotional, I was so pleased that the family were reunited eventually.

Rating: 5 out of 5.