The Darien Dilemma

90 Minutes, 2006
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Directed by: Erez Laufer
Cast: Hadas Kalderon, Yuval Hadadi, Yoav Himan, Mickey Leon, Gadi Por
Production:Erez Laufer
Production Company:Erez Laufer Films
Photographer: Yaron Scharf, Erez Laufer
Original Music: Yehuda Poliker
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

A film by father-son duo, Erez and Nahum Laufer, that mixes together narrative fiction and documentary in its quest to shed light on the painful and scarcely known Kladovo-Ŝabac affair (aka the Kladovo Transport): the story of a group of Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria who fled their countries in 1939 in the hopes of making it to Palestine, only to then get stranded en route, due to a range of issues with their escape and transit routes. At the start of the film, historian and Holocaust scholar, Prof. Chaim Schatzker argues that there is an inverse relationship between the Laufers’ film and Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed Schindler’s List: whereas the latter’s focus is on a thousand Jews who were meant to die but were subsequently saved, the former features the story of a thousand Jews who should have been saved but ended up perishing.
The film moves from conversations between the documentarist son and his father who had fled Europe, to scripted scenes featuring the likes of cast members Hadas Kalderon, Yoav Himan, and Miki Leon who play fictionalised versions of the characters, alongside interviews with Holocaust survivors and various scholars. The film was shown at countless festivals in Israel and round the world.

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