Part coming of age tale, part road movie, part sports story, Got Balz? follows the twists and turns of a young man’s simple but grand idea to send baseball gear to kids in Cuba—an act of thanks to the country that saved his grandfather’s life during WWII. When he discovers the U.S. embargo, youthful idealism collides with political reality, as he discovers how big and messy the adult world can be.
It all began a few years ago when our son, Mica, was 12, studying for his Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish coming of age ritual. His requirement to participate in tikkun olam—the mandate of adult Jews to help “heal the world”—led him on a search to discover his relationship to the island that harbored his grandfather, a holocaust refugee who was refused entry into the U.S. in 1941. Along the way it became clear that a dramatic and entertaining story was unfolding in front of our eyes that shed light on one of the U.S.’s more intractable foreign policy situations.