Lena Dunham Is Starring in a Movie That Might Feature a Nazi Ghost?!

In "Treasure," a Jewish woman and her Holocaust survivor father return to Poland.

Folks, we might be in a Lena Dunham resurgence era.

If you recall, the Jewish multihypehnate creative was one the biggest names in Hollywood from the early 2010s until around 2018 thanks to her show “Girls.” Then she had multiple falls from public graces. (I won’t rehash everything here, but you can check out the controversies section on Lena’s Wikipedia page for yourself.) But over the last year, “Girls” has been everywhere from online op-eds to clips on TikTok. Millennials have been rewatching the show in droves, reexamining how “Girls” came to epitomize their 20s. And Gen-Zers are discovering it for the first time. It all begs the question: Are we about to see a lot more of Lena Dunham?

Well, at the very least, we are about to see Lena Dunham star in a film about a Jewish woman in the ’90s discovering her family’s Holocaust history.

This week Deadline released a first look from the movie “Treasure,” starring Lena Dunham and Stephen Fry. The film is based on the 2001 novel “Too Many Men” by Lily Brett. Per the release, “Dunham plays Ruth, an American music journalist who joins her her father, Edek (Fry), a charmingly stubborn Holocaust survivor, on a journey to his homeland. While Ruth is eager to make sense of her family’s past, Edek embarks on the trip with his own agenda.”

In the 48-second clip, Ruth and Edek have just landed at the Warsaw airport. Immediately things are not to Ruth’s liking. Emerging from the bathroom, Ruth sees her father has abandoned his suitcase. She tries to ask the bathroom attendant about Edek’s whereabouts in English and in Polish he offers her toilet paper. Eventually she finds her dad in the parking lot.

“I asked you not to move, Dad. This is getting off to kind of a rough start,” Ruth says tersely.

Her father responds cheerfully, introducing her to his friend “the best [taxi] driver in Warsaw.”

The short trailer doesn’t tell viewers much about the movie — especially not whether Edek and Ruth will be followed by the GHOST OF NAZI OFFICER RUDOLPH HÖSS. (I’m not joking, this happens in the book.) The IMDb cast entry for “Treasure” is currently devoid of an actor playing the Auschwitz commandant, so it seems like the movie might be cutting out that bit. Still, I was able to glean two things from this short clip. First, Stephen Fry is acting the hell out of his Polish accent. And second, the Holocaust descendant road trip through Europe plot line might be an emerging film genre for Jewish creatives.

Earlier this year, writer-director Jesse Eisenberg‘s “A Real Pain” opened at Sundance. “[‘A Real Pain’] follows two cousins, David (Jesse Eisenberg) and Benji (Kieran Culkin), on a tour of Poland to see the former home of their recently deceased Holocaust survivor grandmother,” Reuben Baron wrote for Hey Alma. In press for the movie, Eisenberg stated that he wanted to make a Holocaust movie that was “more real, less self-important, less sanctimonious, with a way in” and that was inspired by his Jewish family’s own history in Poland.

Dunham, who also produced “Treasure,” seemingly feels a similar connection in making a Holocaust roadtrip film. In an Instagram post from April, Lena shared a photo of her on-location in Europe with Stephen Fry. “Thank you Lodz, Gera, Halle, Berlin for showing me your sweetest spots — each new stop brings me closer to home,” she wrote in the caption.

“Treasure” will open in the U.S. on June 14.

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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