1945 Wins Prize at Jerusalem Film Festival

1945 Wins Prize At Jerusalem Film Festival

 1945 Wins Prize at Jerusalem Film Festival

Jerusalem is a city of stories: ancient and modern tales meet in its stones. The Jerusalem Film Festival brings together story-makers from around the world, to share their stories on the big screen. On Thursday night, in a special awards ceremony and wine-tasting overlooking the Old City Walls, the Festival celebrated these tellers of tales.

I had the good fortune of sitting next to the makers of 1945, which won the Avner Shalev - Yad Vashem Chairman’s Award for Artistic Achievement in Holocaust-related Film for its “stunning cinematic vision exposes the corrosive power of anti-Semitism and collaboration during the Holocaust.” The award is one of the Jewish Experience Awards - Courtesy of Michaela and Leon Constantiner.

 1945 explores anti-Semitism in Hungary during and after the Holocaust, through the story of a Jewish family’s return to their town. The film is based on the short story “Homecoming” by author Gábor T. Szántó, who also wrote the screen-play, and directed by Ferenc Török.

Speaking to Szántó about screening of his film  at the Jerusalem Film Festival, he said, “I am happy to be here and proud –it is a great thing as a Jewish writer,” while Török  added that Jerusalem, like the film itself, is very much concerned with the “question of time –which is really important and sacred.”

The question of time certainly resonates deeply with those of us who live in Jerusalem, where the roads are paved with millennia of longing – including a longing for cheese and wine, which was amply satisfied with Thursday night’s menu.

 And, just as at a cocktail party, we can only choose from the drinks that are offered to us, so too, we can only choose from the opportunities that exist during the era we are born into.

“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under circumstances of their own choosing, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.”

This quote, from Karl Marx, famous for his dislike of capitalism and of cocktail parties, captures the essence of life in Jerusalem, where we build upon the past to shape the future, and the story of the Jewish people, where we write new chapters out of the ashes of the past, and prove that making films after Auschwitz is certainly not barbaric.