Proffy is a 12-year-old boy with a passion for language and justice. It is 1947, in lieu of World War II, the Jewish people crave a land to call their own. With the creation of the state of Israel underway, Proffy finds himself at the forefront of his own resistance movement. Though he is infatuated with words, he struggles to communicate and express himself effectively to the world around him. When Proffy befriends a British soldier with whom he can share his love of language and learning, he is deemed a traitor and accused of treason. Will Proffy’s unlikely friendship cost him his position in the resistance? Can one be close to the enemy without being a traitor? What constitutes as “treason” in an environment so vulnerable? In Amos Oz’s Panther in the Basement, Proffy grapples with ideas of loyalty, oppression, inherited trauma, intolerance, and the impact of friendship.
Rachel Milberg 2020