THE MYSTERY OF THE BLACK BOOK
(Taalumat Hasefer HaShahor)
A Film by Boris Maftsir Director: Boris Maftsir / Israel 2019 Production: Zvi Shefy - Productions, produced for Kan the Israeli Public Broadcast Corporation (IPBC); Supported by The Gesher Multicultural Film Fund and The Avi Chai Foundation, Israel. Graphics and Animation: Studio Jewboy (Yaron Shin) Category: History, Shoah, Animation Language: English, Russian, Hebrew. Subtitles: English Length: HD / 70 minutes
Logline: In 1947, "The Black Book", a collection of testimonies and articles about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union was to be published in Moscow, but it was shelved by the Russian authorities. Why did Stalin decide to hide the solid and documented evidence of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union?
Synopsis: Famous Soviet Writer Ilya Ehrenburg initiated and gathered comprehensive information about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union. It was named ''The Black Book''. In October 1947, the book was to be published in Moscow - a collection of testimonies and articles about the murder of 2.7 Million Jews under Nazi occupation in the Soviet Union. The book was shelved by the authorities, as if the Holocaust of Soviet Jews had never occurred at all. Why did Stalin decide to hide the solid and documented evidence of the Holocaust in the Soviet Union? Did Soviet Jewry’s enthusiasm on the establishment of the State of Israel cause collective punishment against them by the government? Since the revolution, Soviet Jews had been considered loyal partners in the building and administration of the Soviet Union. Why and how did they become suspects of dual loyalty, potential traitors, second class citizens?
The Fifth World Holocaust Forum that took place in Jerusalem in January 2020 to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day was the first declaration by the President of the Russian Federation about the sacrifice of Soviet Jews.
For decades, since the "Black Book" in 1947, the truth has been hidden from public knowledge. Only after the disintegration of the Soviet Union was it possible to begin documenting and commemorating murder sites in cities, towns and villages throughout Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Belarus and Estonia. More than 1,000 cities and villages have been added to the Holocaust Memorial Map. Half of Soviet Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. Those who were fortunate to have suffered state antisemitism throughout the Soviet regime, severely compromising Jewish culture and identity. Hiding the "Black Book" was the first step of the repressions of Jewish culture by Soviet authorities - and of the Jewish identity of Soviet Jews. The circumstances surrounding the concealment of information about the Holocaust in the Soviet Union remained unclear and left many questions open.
This film presents, for the first time, the hypothesis that the ban on publication of the "Black Book" was a planned stage in the removal of Soviet Jews from leading positions in Soviet society and the change of status of Jews in the Soviet Union. The film, based on the story of a single book, becomes the first attempt to understand and explain the destruction of Soviet Jewish culture - and the fate of the Jews of the Soviet Union after the war - a cry for historical justice and reflects the memory of the Jewry murdered during WWII in the Soviet Union.
We have chosen an innovative and original cinematic style - combining interviews with historians and archival materials, and special graphics and animation.
YOU ONLY DIE TWICE
(Ata Met Rak Pa'amayim)
A Film by Yair Lev and David Deri Director: Yair Lev / Israel 2018 Production:David Deri: D.d Productions, for Yes-Docu: Commissioning Editor: Guy Lavie, Israel. Supported by The Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, Israel. Co-Production: Markus Glaser:Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion (NGF), Austria Supported: ORF Austria, Fernsehfounds Austria and BR (Bavarian Broadcasting), Germany Category: History, Thriller, Personal P.O.V. Language: Hebrew, English, German and Serbo-Croatian. Subtitles: English Length: HD / 88 minutes
Logline: A documentary thriller. Yair Lev, a documentary filmmaker becomes a detective and sets out on a personal and historical journey to uncover the true identity behind the man who stole his grandfather's identity.
Synopsis: Surprisingly, the film director’s mother became the heiress of a cottage in posh North London. She had only to prove that she is the daughter of Ernst Bechinsky. But then came an astonishing discovery: another death certificate was discovered in Austria, revealing a man with the same name and I.D., born on the same date and in the same place as Ernst Bechinsky. A suspenseful thriller exposes a man, who lived with an S.S. family and became president of a Jewish Community through deception, leading to an extremely charged meeting between descendants of Jews and Nazis.
Suprise Film: Copenhagen Jewish Film Festival - Denmark 2019
Audience Award: Doc Aviv International Documentary Film Festival - Israel 2018
Research Award: Doc Aviv International Documentary Film Festival - Israel 2018
Research Award: Israeli Documentary Film Awards 2018
Nominee: Best Documentary Film: Ophir Awards 2018 (Israel Film Academy)
Doc Aviv IDFF: Research Award Jury's justification: ‘’Research is the heart and soul of this film, a film where the director works as investigator, uncovering a personal mystery to reveal a profound truth about family, brotherhood and forgiveness.’’
After making two films about my father Hugo, a Holocaust survivor, revolving around his extraordinary experiences during the WW2 and our complex relationship (the film ‘’Hugo’’ in 1989 and the sequel "Hugo II" in 2008) - "You Die Only Twice" took me on a detective journey to solve a mystery concerning my mother's father, my grandfather Ernest Bachinsky. At the end of a six year's quest full of twists and turns, I found myself back in WW2, between survivors and rescuers, persecuted and persecutors. This time, however, the boundaries between them proved to be more blurred than ever.
* « I saw You Only Die Twice for the first time at the festival (Diagonale, Graz, Austria), and it was right away one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. On one hand it is thanks to the incredible story, but on the other it is thanks to the great film direction. » Mara Hollenstein-Tirk / Film Plus Kritik
* « The most thrilling film playing at the moment in Israel and maybe the best thriller I've seen in years…a documentary as a mystery that as much as it evolves it reveals its humane substance …as the plot develops so does its capacity to surprise, enrich and empower the experience it fulfills…the tension it creates is built on solid foundation » Uri Klein / Haaretz daily newspaper
* « You Only Die Twice, a film by David Deri and Yair Lev, is a compelling historical and personal mystery. The filmmaker, a second generation survivor, sets out on a journey to solve a family mystery. » Identity Theft / Amy Kronish / IsraelFilm.blogspot
* « Yair Lev’s Israeli-Austrian-German co-production You Only Die Twice is a Jewish detective story set in the Alps and revolves around the former president of the Jewish Community of Tirol, Ernst Bechinsky. A man with the same name dies twice: in 1969 in Israel and in 1987 in Innsbruck. Who was Ernst Bechinsky really? Given the category, it’s not all that difficult to guess – but why be a spoiler? » Grapevine : Diplomatically speaking / Greer Fay Cashman / Jerusalem Post
* « Blurs the border between reality and imagination and the result is a rare and stirring family story…a family story that every documentary filmmaker would long for, and no fiction filmmaker would come up with » Shmulik Duvdevani / Ynet
* « "You Only Die Twice" is extremely suspenseful, intensive and intimate…it contains a long series of powerful scenes that leave the audience glued to one's sit and eventually totally satisfied » Avner Shavit / Walla!
* « A moving story unfolds in a fascinating way » Yael Shuv / Time Out
GHETTO UPRISING - THE UNTOLD STORY
(aka "Remember Them All'')(Venizkor EtKulam) Director: Simon Shechter and Yuval Haimovich-Zuser / Israel 2017 Production: Emanuel Shechter, Ronen Machlis Balzam, Hila Guy: Metaphor Visual Storytelling: Category: History Language: Hebrew, German, Polish, English Subtitles: English Length: HD / 61 minutes
Synopsis: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising has become a symbol of heroism throughout the world, but its generally accepted story is incomplete. Among the uprising fighters was a group that was not granted commemoration: the Jewish Military Union (ZZW) which was better armed than other groups fighting in the rest of the Ghetto and was responsible for the uprising major battle. This untold story is based on the documentation of SS General Juergen Stroop.
THE VENICE GHETTO, 500 YEARS OF LIFE (Il Ghetto di Venezia, 500 Anni di Vita)
(Le ghetto de Venise - Une histoire des juifs de Venise) Director: Emanuela Giordano / Italy 2015 Production: Roberto Levi: Tangram Film (Italy), Co-produced with Arsam International (France) and Cerigo Films (France). In collaboration with RAI Cinema (Italy) and Toute L'Histoire TV Channel (France). Category: History Language: Italian Subtitles: English, French Narration: Italian Length: HD / 54 minutes
Synopsis: 2016 was the 500th anniversary of world's first ghetto: the Ghetto of Venice. Imaginative docu-fiction techniques bring alive the paradoxical wonders of Europe’s oldest Jewish ghetto and its integration into Italian society, in this edifying and heartwarming film.
Lorenzo a Jewish teenager, of Venetian origin, born and raised in New York, leads us in this journey, guided by his aunt and two young Venetian cousins who offer him the stimulus to enter more and more into a world unknown to him. The history of the Venice ghetto offers us an opportunity to reflect on the story of an immigration and of a slow integration, an example of the enormous wealth that the exchange of diverse cultures can give us.
FOLLOWING SHIRA'S JOURNEY: A Greek Jewish Odyssey Director: Carol Gordon, Natalie Cunningham / Australia 2014 Production: Carol Gordon: Shira Productions Pty Ltd. Category: History Language: English, Greek, Hebrew Subtitles: English, Narration: English Length: HD / 50 minutes
Synopsis: More than 60,000 Greek Jews perished in the Holocaust, yet this tragic history remains relatively unknown. This groundbreaking documentary features interviews with Greek Jewish Holocaust survivors, second and third generation survivors and community members who are fighting to keep their Jewish traditions and culture alive. Filmmakers Carol Gordon and Natalie Cunningham explore the history of the once thriving Jewish communities of Greece and the present-day communities that are determined to survive.
BUREAU 06 - the architects of the Eichmann trial (Lishka 06) (BUREAU 06 - les architectes du procès Eichmann) Director: Yoav Halevy / Israel 2013 Production: Yoav Halevy: Open Doors Films/Tmuna Communication Ltd.; Supported by The Second Authority for Television & Radio, Israel and The Makor Foundation for Israeli Films. Category: History Language: Hebrew, German. Subtitles: English Length: HD / 58 minutes
Synopsis: The dramatic story of "Bureau 06", the team of police investigators formed for the intent purpose of investigating and preparing the grave charges brought up by the Jewish people against Adolf Eichmann. The charges told the story of the Jewish Holocaust to the entire world in a way that it had not been told before. These charges cried out, exactly 50 years ago, the cry of "J'accuse" at the Eichmann trial and changed the collective Israeli consciousness forever.
This film tells the unique personal and group stories of this team of investigators, their hardships, their confessions and the emotional turmoil they experienced, together and alone. Among them the story of Avner Less the personal interrogator of Adolf Eichmann who left Israel after the trial and took back his Germany Identity card.
Festivals & Awards:
Special Screening: 60 years anniversary capture of Adolf Eichmann: CinéONU: United Nations Vienna (UNOV) - Austria 2020
PBIFF Palm Beach International Film Festival - U.S.A. 2014
Jerusalem F.F. 2013 /Honorable Mention Jury Statement: « Bureau 06 is an energetic, well-researched examination of the police unit assigned to interrogate Adolf Eichmann before his trial. This documentary takes us behind the scenes of this dramatic historical moment in dynamic and surprisingly moving fashion »
* « A moving and educational cinematic experience.The film captures the tragedy and horror while still finding room to inspire and move. It is profoundly moving, profoundly shocking and profoundly important. » (Igor Shteyrenberg) Sergio Carmona / Sun-Sentinel
* « A gripping docu-drama on the team of investigators that prepared the charges brought against Adolf Eichman and the effect on their personal lives » UKJFF 2013
* « ''Bureau 06'' by Yoav Halevy examines the Eichmann Trial in an interesting and less familiar perspective » Yael Shuv / Time Out Israel
* « Halevy’s film, thoughtful and deliberately understated, relates the experience of Bureau 06’s members for the first time.» Akin Ajayi / Midnight East
* « An amazing story... an exciting and shuddering movie… A must-see-film » Prof. Michael Bar Zohar - Radio interview on IDF radio station Galei Zahal
* « This film is a superbly researched historical document which succeeds in integrating the emotions and personal hardships of those who worked in the bureau, and even touches on some of the terrible stories that they uncovered in their research. » Amy Kronish / IsraelFilm.blogspot
LIVE OR DIE IN ENTEBBE
(Vivre ou Mourir à Entebbe)
Director and Producer: Eyal Boers / Israel 2012 Associate Producer: Michael Treves: JMT Films Distribution & Co-productions Co-Produced: with SRC - Télévision Radio Canada: Commissioning Editor: Jean Pelletier Supported by: IBA - Israeli Television, Channel One: Commissioning Editor: Itay Nevo Landsberg Category: History Language: Hebrew, French, English, Subtitles: English/French, Narration: French/English Length: HD / 52 minutes
Synopsis: In June 1976, an Air France flight was hijacked by German and Palestinian terrorists who diverted the flight to Entebbe airport in Uganda. A week later, Israeli planes flew 4000 kilometers over hostile territory to Entebbe and in less than 60 minutes Israeli commandos stormed the premises and rescued more than 100 hostages. ''Operation Entebbe'' is considered as one of the most brilliant military rescue operations in military history. It put a temporary stop to plane hijacking as a means for terrorist groups to impose their demands. However, those who were not saved by this rescue operation have been almost totally forgotten. Four hijacked persons did not survive the raid, among them Jean-Jacques Mimouni, a 19 year-old French-Israeli hostage, who died during the operation in mysterious circumstances. Israel's most heroic myth is the Mimouni family's greatest tragedy.
In “Live or Die in Entebbe,” Eyal Boers examines the rescue operation from a new angle and accompanies Mimouni’s nephew, Yonathan Khayat, on a personal journey of reconstruction that is complemented by many eyewitness testimonies.
''Mention the name Entebbe to any Israeli and they will tell you the story of Yonatan (Yoni) Netanyahu, the heroic paratrooper and older brother of the current prime minister who died commanding the daring raid to free the 105 Israeli hostages hijacked to Entebbe, Uganda, in July of 1976…'' (''The forgotten dead'' by Eetta Prince-Gibson) Entebbe Raid series /New Vision / Uganda's leading Newspaper
4 Radio Interviews with Eyal Boers about ''Live Or Die In Entebbe'':
LACI BACSI - Uncle Laszlo (L'oncle Laszlo) Director: Elena Hazanov and Claudio Recupero Category: History Production: Association Façonneurs de Mémoire / Switzerland 2012 Language: French, Hungarian. Subtitles: English / German Length: 66 minutes
Synopsis: Lazslo Somogyi Singer, a Hungarian Jew born in 1929, survived the Holocaust and Stalinism. A group of six young students have met him regularly in Geneva, during a full school year, and took a trip with him to Hungary to the scene of his youth.
The film ''Laci Bàcsi'' (''Uncle Lazslo'') is about the difficulty in collecting the words of a witness and in this case the testimony of an exemplary life and the absolute need to do it while there is still time. This film is also about the importance of listening and sharing.
SIX SIDES OF A BRICK
(Six faces d'une brique)
Director: Damien Monnier Category: Creative Documentary / History Production: Maud Martin: L'image d'après / France 2012 Language: English, French, German, Portuguese, Polish. Subtitles: English Length: 52/73 minutes
Synopsis: A man has restored part of the wall of the former Jewish ghetto in a courtyard in Warsaw. Neighbours and travellers pass through, live there, come and see. Tourists and local people walk before Damien Monnier’s camera. Some stop, tell stories, discuss; others brush past in silence.
A powerful reflection on memory as substance and space to be measured.
THE CHABAD REBBE AND THE GERMAN OFFICER Director: Larry Price Category: History Production: Price Communications Inc. / Israel 2011
Associated with IBA, Channel One, Israel Language: English, Hebrew. Subtitles: English Length: 56 minutes
Synopsis: The story of the rescue of the 6th Lubavitch Rebbe, Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, from war-torn Warsaw in 1939 by half-Jewish German Spy Maj. Ernst Bloch working under direct orders of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr, German Military Intelligence. Canaris was part of a back-door deal between Germany & the US government.
A MATTER OF TIME - The story of the Jewish communities of North Africa during WWII - a film in two episodes (Étoiles de Mediterranée) Director: Serge Ankri and Marco Carmel / Israel 2005 Category: History Production: Zvi Shefy, Alain Jakubowicz, Nani Weller Language: Hebrew, French. English subtitles / French subtitles (''Étoiles de Méditerranée''). Length: 2 x 52 minutes
Synopsis: This film tells for the first time, the story of the Jewish communities of North Africa (Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco) during World War II, revealing how, had fate not intervened, it was only "a matter of time" until they would share the fate of their co-religionists in Europe. The film describes the Historical evidence of plans by German and Italian occupiers to carry out "the final solution" far from the shores of Europe.
Festivals & Awards:
New York Sephardic Jewish Film Festival - USA 2006
Festival of Jewish Cinema - Australia 2005
Jewish Eye, Jewish Film Festival Beer Sheba - Israel 2005
RIVKA'S TRIBE (La Tribu de Rivka) Director: Sabrina Van Tassel / France 2010 Category: Human Interest / History Production: Marc Andréani: Injam Production Language: French. Subtitles: English Length: 58 minutes
Synopsis: The Zalcbergs, a joyful, close and solid family are gathering in order to celebrate the Jewish New Year. Six siblings, living life to the fullest, recall their childhood spent during the Second World War in France. Brought up in a Jewish family of Polish immigrants, the eldest brother is fifteen when his father is arrested by the French police and sent to Auschwitz. From then on, he has only one goal: save his entire family from death. This film tells the amazing story of survival of a family united by mutual love and faith, and today numbers over sixty people.
OPERATION MURAL: Casablanca 1961 Director: Yehuda Kaveh / Israel 2007 Category: History Production: Ronit Dor Productions Language:Hebrew, English, French. Subtitles: English / French Length: 55 minutes
Synopsis: Forty-five years after their clandestine mission, three Mossad agents return to Casablanca to retrace their steps in a humanitarian mission whereby 530 Jewish children reached Israel in 1961, under the guise of holidays in Switzerland. This film vividly documents how “Operation Mural” succeeded beyond all expectations. The key actors relive their undercover activities, as well as many precious testimonies of children and key Mossad figures in Israel and the Littmans in Switzerland. The film was filmed in Switzerland, Morocco and Israel.
Festivals & Awards:
Remi Award Winner: Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, Texas - USA 2008
Winner: Best Jewish Film: DeREEL Independent Film Festival, Melbourne - Australia 2008
Nominee for Best Documentary : Israel Academy Awards - Israel 2008
Victoria Independent Film Festival, Melbourne - Australia 2009
Barcelona Jewish Film Festival - Spain 2009
Toronto Jewish Film Festival - Canada 2008
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival - USA 2008
NYC Sephardic Jewish Film Festival - USA 2008
Santa Cruz Jewish Film Festival, California - USA 2009
Charlotte Jewish Film Festival, North Carolina - USA 2009
Jewish Eye-World Jewish Film Festival Film, Ashkelon - Israel 2007
Fipatel, FIPA International Festival of Audiovisual Programs, Biarritz - France 2007
END OF WAITING TIME Director: Antonio Perez Molero & Jesus Sanjurjo Category: History. Co-Production: Inicia Films (Valérie Delpierre) with ITVS International / USA / Spain 2009 Language: Spanish. Subtitles: English / French Length: 52 / 78 minutes
Synopsis: In 1936, General Francisco Franco led a coup d' état against the Spanish Republic that gave rise to a brutal civil war. During his long dictatorship, hundreds of people were arrested, executed or disappeared. Today, the families of those who vanished have begun to search for answers about their relatives.
MADRID BEFORE HANITA – Jews from Palestine in the International Brigades Director and Producer: Eran Torbiner / Israel 2006 Category: History. Language: Hebrew, Spanish, Polish and German. Subtitles: English / French / Spanish Length: 58 minutes
Synopsis: The story of 300 Jews from Palestine/Israel who departed to fight fascism and joined the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939.
Many of them were Jewish communists who believed Fascism was the main enemy of humanity in general and of Jews in particular. This film follows their stories in Palestine and the decision to go to Spain and documents their complex relationships with the civilian Spanish population and their loves, disappointments, hopes, and deaths. The leading characters in the film are the last of volunteers still living today, and family members and relatives of others who were killed or have since died. The film is set with a voice-over narration of segments from their letters and diaries, and uses Spanish and Israeli archives extensively, combined with current footage of Israel and Spain .
Festivals & Awards:
«De la guerre civile à la dictature» Spanish Cinema: 5th Ciné-Rencontres Trait d’Union - France 2018
Jews and the Spanish Civil War: Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw - Poland 2016
Winner: Platinum Remi Award : Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, Texas - USA 2007
Chicago International Documentary Film Festival - USA 2007
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY Director: Ruth Walk / Israel 2004 Category: Creative Documentary Production: Yael Perlov Language: Hebrew. Subtitles: English /French Length: 64 minutes
Synopsis: Among the few children surviving Auschwitz was a group of little Jewish boys, who re-united after the War. The film portrays the 25 living survivors, who still call themselves “Children”. Its culmination is their collective birthday party, celebrated yearly on Liberation Day, May 5th. The film tells their stories of survival - as children in Auschwitz and as adults who must learn to live beyond their memories of a lifetime ago.
ICH BIN JUDE! ICH BIN JUDE! - Jewish Youth Movements' Resistance in Occupied France (ICH BIN JUDE! ICH BIN JUDE! – Mouvement de résistance des jeunesses juives dans la France occupée) Director and Producer: Nicole & Barak Bard / Israel / France 2005 Category: History. Language: French. Subtitles: English Length: 53 minutes
Synopsis: The film recounts the resistance of Jewish youth mouvements in France during WWII, particularly the Jewish Scouts of France (EIF) and the Zionist Youth Movement (MJS), in response to German occupation and especially to the anti-Jewish laws and oppressions set in place by the occupant. They saved Jewish lives by the thousands and then joined the French Resistance as distinct Jewish combat units. The entire story is told only by those who lived it.
THE RINGWORM CHILDREN Director and Producer: David Belhassen and Asher Hemias / Israel 2003 Category: History Language: Hebrew. Subtitles: English, Available: French Length: 58 minutes
Synopsis: In the early 1950's, approximately 100,000 immigrant children, primarily from North Africa, received X-ray radiation treatment for ringworm upon their arrival in Israel. At the time, the medical establishment thought ringworm was a grave danger to public health. It was later discovered that these treatments caused high rates of infertility, cancer and death. This tragic affair was hidden from the public eye for decades until now. Through exhaustive research and testimonies of survivors, this emotional documentary illustrates how stereotyping immigrants can have horrific consequences.
Festivals & Awards:
Honorary Mention: International Prize for Mediterranean Documentary & Reportage - France 2005
UNDER THE STRAW ROOF Director and Producer: Miri Rader-Zamft / Israel 1995 Category: History Language: Hebrew. Subtitles: English Length: 40 minutes
Synopsis: The film depicts the story of the Levin Family, a Dutch family who survived the Holocaust. When the war was over the family reunited. As a result of their reunion they felt the need to add Jewish orphans, who lost their parents during the Holocaust, to the family . The film raises the problematic issue of the new relationships that emerged within the family.