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Berlin-Jerusalem (1989)
"Berlin-Yerushalaim" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  14 March 1990 (France)
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Two interconnected stories in the 1930s, one set in Berlin, the other in Palestine: Mania Vilbouchevich Shohat (1880-1961), called Tania, a Russian Jew and revolutionary, goes from Minsk to... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Lisa Kreuzer ...
Rivka Neuman ...
Markus Stockhausen ...
Benjamin Levi ...
Bernard Eisenschitz ...
Man in Berlin cafe
Dr. Weintraub
Juliano Mer-Khamis ...
Menahme (as Juliano Mer)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yossi Graber ...
Dov Ben Gelman
Veronica Lazar ...
Ori Levy ...
Anton Keller (as Ori Levi)
Gadi Poor ...
Bilha Rosenfeld ...


Two interconnected stories in the 1930s, one set in Berlin, the other in Palestine: Mania Vilbouchevich Shohat (1880-1961), called Tania, a Russian Jew and revolutionary, goes from Minsk to Palestine to live on a collective. She promotes feminism and laments a shift in the men from self-defense to aggression. Her friend, Else Lasker-Schuler (1869 - 1945), expressionist poet and German Jew, is in Berlin, writing, caring for her son, watching Hitler's movement take power. She goes to Jerusalem and imagines a park for Arab and Jew. Her poems, voiced from within, capture her experience. The film meditates on the violence at the root of Israel's birth: of the Nazis and of the Zionists. Written by <>

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14 March 1990 (France)  »

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Berlin-Jerusalem  »

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daring but uneven
7 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A fictitious friendship is created between two actual women, German poet Else Lasker-Schüler and early Zionist Manya (here named Tonia) Shohat, to explore contrasting environments during the 1920s, a unique period in history "between freedom and destruction". The film takes a while to find its parallel structure and after that is uneven, at best; the scenes showing Zionist settlers carving a future from the unforgiving landscape of Palestine are vivid and convincing, while the superficial depiction of pre-war Berlin is rarely more than pretentious, with the screenplay making the tactical mistake of too often quoting Lasker-Schüler's expressionistic poetry. Time and again the film threatens to lapse into a more conventional drama, but director Amos Gitai's experimental instincts finally win out: the conclusion, with its daring segue into modern Jerusalem, is pure Godard. The film was designed with the precision of an architectural blueprint, but while the intellectual approach is often fascinating, perhaps some emotional involvement with the subject would have made it a more rewarding experience.

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