November 2008 - While filming his father revisiting his childhood city of Mumbai, India, Israeli director Erez Laufer finds himself caught in the worst terror attack in the history of the city. As the drama of the terrorist takeover of Chabad House in Mumbai unfolds, the Laufer family recounts how they found refuge there in the 1940s after fleeing the Nazis. Past and present collide as the family history is echoed in a contemporary war, and a little-known story emerges of the Jewish refugees who found a safe haven in Mumbai during World War II. Rafting to Bombay is the story of how 5 year old Nahum and his mother escaped the Nazis in Poland, crossed Europe by train and sailed on a raft on the Tigris River until they reached the exotic and fascinating India of monkeys, elephants and Rajas. But Nahum’s childhood experience, which is remembered as an enchanting fantasy, was in reality, a chilling story of a last minute escape.
20 years ago director Erez Laufer filmed his grandmother recounting her story, just before she passed away. Now, while stuck in the hotel in Mumbai, Nahum listens to his mother’s testimonials. Then his childhood’s friend Sam Marshall who escaped from the Taj hotel, at the last minute, brings the horrific news of the Chabad house.
It is a tale of three generations: grandmother, son & grandson telling one story - Rafting to Bombay. From a child’s memory of a hopeful and romantic journey, to the mother’s horrific reality, and finally to the cruel encounter of past and present time.