This Austrian TV film is about Theodor Herzl, who many people consider to be the father of the state of Israel. The film covers the most important years of Herzl's life, from the Dreyfus affair in 1894 up to his death in 1904. It shows Herzl's early years as an unsuccessful dramatist and his work at the newspaper 'Neue Freie Presse' in Vienna. The idea to found a state for Jews came to his mind when he lived in France and saw how unjustly the Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus was treated by the authorities. From then on, the film follows Herzl's attempts to collect enough money to buy parts of Palestine and thereby offer the Jews a refuge from anti Semitism. The 1897 congress in Basle, where the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine was resolved, was the climax of this development. What I like most about this film are the comments of an Israeli journalist who interferes from time to time. His scenes are combined with some authentic pictures of 1973 Jerusalem that form a good contrast to the otherwise historic atmosphere of the film. Pinkas Braun, who plays the leading role, makes visible what a charismatic man Theodor Herzl must have been. If you want to learn something about the history of the Jews and the foundation of Israel, watch this film. It is interesting, informative and by no means boring.
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