Jacob the Liar (1974) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A Jewish ghetto in central Europe, 1944. By coincidence, Jakob Heym eavesdrops on a German radio broadcast announcing the Soviet Army is making slow by steady progress towards central Europe. In order to keep his companion in misfortune, Mischa, from risking his life for a few potatoes, he tells him what he heard and announces that he is in possession of a radio - in the ghetto a crime punishable by death. It doesn't take long for word of Jakob's secret to spread - suddenly, there is new hope and something to live for - and so Jakob finds himself in the uncomforting position of having to come up with more and more stories.

  • In 1944, in Poland, the Jew Jakob Heym breaks the curfew in the ghetto where he lives and a guard in the lookout sends him to see the chief of the guards. Jakob is released by the German, but overhears a radio broadcasting that the Russians are advancing towards their town. On the next morning, his comrade Mischa wants to risk his life to steal a couple of potatoes in a German store, Jakob tells that the Russians are coming and confides that he has a radio. Soon the secret Jakob has told to Mischa is known by the residents of the ghetto and Jakob notes that his lies give hope to the Jews, reducing the number of suicide. Meanwhile his niece Lina, who is sick, gets better with Jakob stories and believes that clouds are made of cotton balls.


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