France, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, UK 1989 | 89 minutes | Hebrew, German, English, French | Hebrew subtitles
Amos Gitai’s film from 1989 connects between two women who never actually met: Expressionist poet Else Lasker-Schüler, who fled Berlin during the early 1930s as the Nazis rose to power, and Zionist revolutionary, Mania Shochat (Tania, in the film), a Russian-born Marxist and founder of HaShomer. These two historical figures—one poetic, the other, political—held utopian visions that fell apart as they faced Israel’s unbearable reality in those days. Jerusalem, with its many faces, is the film’s thematic underpinning: Jerusalem seen as both an object of ideological and poetic longing, but also as a hazardous zone. Newly-restored copy in honor of the film’s 30-year anniversary, courtesy of the Royal Film Archive of Belgium.