I have got the greatest Chanukah present for all of you. It’s Super Mamika! Sacha Goldberger is a terrific fashion photographer living in Paris, and he noticed his beloved grandma, who ended up in Paris after fleeing Hungary during WWII, was slowing down and getting depressed. She was 91, after all. But he wasn’t going to take this lying down.
About four years ago, he asked her to take some funny pictures, mostly in regular clothes but bizarre situations, like riding in a car driven by a chicken. (You read that right.) He found that it cheered her up, and together they came up with crazier and crazier ideas until he came up with the Super Mamika concept.
“My grandmother saved some persons from the Nazis during the war, so she is sort of a superhero,” he said in a recent CBC radio interview. He’d always been a comic-book fan, but wondered, what happens to these heroes when they aren’t men of steel anymore?
“She is my grandmother, she is fantastic,” Goldberger says. But “even if she wasn’t my grandmother, I would love to have her as a grandmother.” (Can you tell I’m charmed by his accent? I want to follow him around and pepper him with inconsequential questions.)
“We’re Jewish, and from Hungary,” Goldberger says. “And in Yiddish we say messhugeh,’ and that means crazy. And I think in my family we’re all a little crazy.” Well, that resonates with me, of course. My entire family is nuts in the butts. But more importantly, I’m incredibly touched by this grandson-grandma relationship. It’s one thing for a little boy who loves his grandma to grow up into an adorable man who loves his grandma. It’s quite stupendous, however, for him to enter into a creative project with her, designed to draw her out and empower her.
I’ve attached a couple photos here (with permission from Sacha, of course), and you should head over to his site and pore over it. But make sure you have a few hours, because there is just a ton of stuff there to enjoy.
I am probably too old a mom to hope for grandkids who’ll be able to do this with me, but I hope I inspire that kind of love in them anyway. Oof, Sacha, quelle mensch!