2 user 1 critic

Dawn (2014)

PG | | Drama | 2014 (Israel)
1:41 | Clip
Autumn 1947: Elisha, a young Jew, learns that he has been chosen to kill the hostage John Dawson, a captain in the British Army occupying Palestine. Will Elisha, himself a survivor of the holocaust, be able to commit this irrevocable act?


Romed Wyder


Billy MacKinnon (adaptation), Elie Wiesel (novel)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Sarah Adler ... Ilana
Joel Basman ... Elisha
Moris Cohen ... Joab
Rami Heuberger ... Gideon
Jason Isaacs ... Dawson
Stefan Kollmuss ... G.I.
Liron Levo ... Gad


Four comrades in arms attempt to influence the young Elisha, to make him overcome his conflicts of conscience and fully commit to their cause. The story is set in Palestine in 1947, during the British mandate period. The Zionists are fighting for the establishment of a Jewish state. A member of the armed Jewish underground has been sentenced to death by the British authorities. In return, his comrades kidnap a British officer. During the whole night they are waiting together for the outcome of the negotiation. If the British hang their friend at dawn, one of them will shoot the British officer. In the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Dawn sheds a new light on a key moment in history that allows to re-situate the current political disputes. Written by producer

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The concentration camp scenes were filmed in Zug, Switzerland. See more »

User Reviews

A subtle and moving portrait of the Israeli underground
9 June 2015 | by mjsqueezeSee all my reviews

How does one tell a story of the Irgun?

Well, we could ask Elie Wiesel, who wrote DAWN in 1960. What qualified him? He translated for the Irgun while he was in France after the war. He knew their rhetoric, and their Betar based revisionist Zionist approach.

His book brings he as the young survivor of Night into the moral conundrum explored so well by Camus in Les Justes - Does the end justify the means?

Romed Wyder has taken this moving, short and intense interior dialog, and externalized the ethical debate with very convincing, charismatic, and strong characters which require the Big Screen. Joel Basman is stellar as the fragile and innocent Elisha aka Elie Wiesel. Jason Isaacs demonstrates his force and charisma as the ambiguous prisoner. (without a wand and special effects). Sarah Adler is seductive, motherly, and Matta Hari rolled in one. Morris Cohen explodes, cajoles, and browbeats...and the framing by Ram Schweky - seriously, in the cinema for this film. Plus the music by Bernard Trontin - refined, subtle, taking full form as the film closes.

What is particularly powerful is Wyder's opening which places us inside the life of Elisha/Elie, and the inclusion of scenes based on Irgun training, and Irgun history. For the defender's of Begin - don't worry - this very focused and moving film helps us feel the force of that moral question the length of the whole film - Does the end justify the means?

A beautiful film, and a tribute to the excellent writing of Elie Wiesel, and Billy MacKinnon's adaptation.

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Switzerland | UK | Germany | Israel


Hebrew | English | French

Release Date:

2014 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Shachar See more »

Filming Locations:

Tel Aviv, Israel See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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