A couple of years ago, Elie Estrin went on Facebook and sent a private message.
“If you are looking for a great story to tell, I have one,” wrote the chaplain in the US Air Force Reserve.
His message was addressed to Bentzi Avtzon, a documentary filmmaker, and an upcoming documentary is the result of this exchange.
Rabbi Estrin and his wife Chaya Rochel Estrin, who founded Chabad at the University of Washington in Seattle, are parents to Nissi, a young boy with a smile that lights up a room.
But Nissi is not your ordinary child. His very existence is a miracle.
Five years ago, Nissi was born with a list of medical conditions so long his doctor didn’t give him a chance to survive his first day of life. “Your boy won’t see the sunset,” Elie was told.
Thousands of sunsets laters, Nissi and his family are the subject of a moving documentary film, “The Impossible Child.” The film offers unusual access to Nissi’s ongoing journey: to his painstaking physical therapy, the moments where his smile makes it all worthwhile.
“I was amazed by how Nissi’s family opened their doors to my camera,” Bentzi says. “To see and tell their story so intimately was something that moved me deeply.”
“Hopefully our story comforts and inspires someone else,” Elie says. “If it does, we in turn become comforted and inspired.”
The full nine-minute film is scheduled to be released after Yom Tov.