Back to Berlin, a new documentary following the journey of eleven motorcyclists as they travel across nine countries and 4,500km to take the Maccabiah torch from Israel to Olympiastadion in Berlin, arrives in UK cinemas on November 23.
From director Catherine Lurie comes Back to Berlin, a documentary following the journey of eleven motorcyclists as they travel across nine countries and 4,500km to take the Maccabiah torch from Israel to Olmpiastadion in Berlin.
Site of the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics, the motorcyclists retrace the heroic journeys of the original 1930s Maccabiah riders, discovering how their families survived or perished in the holocaust. One story consists of a biker’s grandmother and how she survived Auschwitz, escaping the Death March.
Mixing archival footage with the journey from 2015, Lurie’s film, which is narrated by Jason Isaacs, juxtaposes the present with the past to profile how far we’ve come and perhaps how far we’ve still to go. It’s a cautionary tale underpinned by reconciliation and hope. It’s also a story of defiance and survival.
“This has been a project of passion,” says director Catherine Lurie. “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.”
In the documentary we witness nine Israelis and two Diaspora Jews, each with their own personal relationship with the holocaust. Indeed, two are survivors and one is a grandson of the original 1930s Maccabi Bikers.
Adds Lurie: “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.”
Back To Berlin is released in UK cinemas on November 23.