The Trailer Is Here for Kieran Culkin and Jesse Eisenberg’s Holocaust Trip Movie

"A Real Pain" confirms we're officially in the Jewish-family-visiting-a-concentration-camp movie era.

Is the Jewish-family-goes-on-a-Holocaust-trip movie genre becoming a thing? All signs point to yes. “Treasure,” a film about a daughter (Lena Dunham) returning to her Holocaust survivor father’s (Stephen Fry’s) homeland, just opened in theaters last week. And now we have the first official teaser trailer for “A Real Pain,” the upcoming Kieran Culkin and Jesse Eisenberg Holocaust trip movie.

According to Hey Alma contributor Reuben Baron, who saw “A Real Pain” when it premiered at Sundance 2024, the question at the center of the film is one of Jewish happiness. Namely, how can Jews be happy? The movie follows Jewish cousins David (Jesse Eisenberg) and Benji (Kieran Culkin) as they tour Poland to see the former home of their late Holocaust survivor grandmother.

“Upon first impressions, Benji seems to know how to enjoy himself more than David does; he’s funny, forms connections with people instantly, and tries to get his neurotic cousin to relax and lighten up,” Baron wrote at the time. “And yet Benji’s moods can easily swing in the opposite direction — if David’s perpetual discomfort stays bubbling under at a functional level, Benji’s sadness threatens to become too much to bear.”

The trailer release comes just a few weeks after the news that Jesse Eisenberg is applying to reclaim his family’s Polish citizenship. He was inspired to do so after filming “A Real Pain” on-location in Poland, in the cities and towns where his ancestors came from. “While I was working here, I met some people who worked in positions related to the government. I said to them: ‘I would love to create better relationships between Jews and Polish people,” Eisenberg told Polish publication “Głos Wielkopolski.”

“Poland made me feel a real connection to something historically bigger than myself,” he added.

“A Real Pain” will open in the U.S. on Oct. 18, 2024.

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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