On July 23, 1944, the Nazis deported nearly the entire Jewish population of Rhodes, while the Italian authorities who had governed the island from 1912 until 1943 idly stood by. It was late in the War and the German defeat seemed imminent, yet the Nazi commanders did not hesitate to inflict this long and harrowing journey from the Mediterranean island to Auschwitz upon the small Jewish community. In its entirety, the journey took twenty-four days and claimed the lives of many.
The Longest Journey – The Last Days of the Jews of Rhodes is a powerful cinematic tribute to a lost world. Weaving together the moving testimonies of Stella Levi, Sami Mondiano, and Albert Israel, Italian director Ruggero Gabbai brings these survivors back to Rhodes from their newfound homes in the US and Europe. Through their stories, we experience what was once a unique and vibrant community - family and communal celebrations, interactions with the Greek, Turkish, and Italian communities, cultural transitions, as well as the last days of Jewish life. Rhodes unfolds as a sort of paradise lost. As Ruggero Gabbai’s starkly beautiful cinematography reminds us, you can never go home again.
With thanks to the Embassy of Italy in Israel and the Italian Cultural Institute .
Screening in the presence of the director
||Francesca Modiano |
||Ruggero Gabbai, M. Pezzetti, L. Picciotto |
||Angelo Volponi |
||Forma International, Milan|