Documentary - Back to Berlin

Retracing the journeys of the original 1930's Maccabiah riders, watch the trailer for the documentary Back to Berlin...

Directed by Catherine Lurie, Back to Berlin follows the incredible journey of eleven motorcyclists across nine countries & 4,500 km in 24 days as they undertake a mission to take the Maccabiah torch from Israel to Olympiastadion, site of the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics, for the first Jewish Olympic Games on German soil since WW2. On the way, they discover how the original group of bikers and their families survived or perished in the Holocaust.

Back to Berlin is a cautionary tale but it’s also a story of reconciliation and hope. It is a story of defiance and survival. The core group of bikers are comprised of nine Israelis and two Diaspora Jews. Two are survivors, seven are descendants of Holocaust survivors, and one is a grandson of the original 1930’s Maccabi Bikers.

Narrated by Jason Isaacs and mixing archival footage with the 2015 journey the film contrasts the present and past as the underlying thread of the film.

Director Catherine Lurie said: “This has been a project of passion. When I heard that Germany would host the Summer Maccabi Games I decided to capture an ironic moment. I would create a 21st Century mission to confront the past and address the present. We would deliver the torch and fly the Israeli flag defiantly against injustice and intolerance. It would be a journey to show how life for the Jews has changed. And how it has not. As populist movements once again rear their ugly heads, I believe that Back to Berlin is topical, relevant and delivers an important message.”

The film has been selected for the Shanghai International Film Festival 2018, the Washington Jewish Film Festival 2018, the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival 2018, Stamford Jewish Film Festival 2018 and Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema 2018 in the US as well as the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival 2019 and is released in UK cinemas on 23rd November. 

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Image - Verve Pictures
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