The Cellar

60 Minutes, 1963
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Directed by: Natan Gross
Cast: Shimon Yisraeli, David Smadar, Hannah Kahane
Production:Nachum Slonim
Production Company:Shay Films Ltd.
Photographer: Yaakov Jonilowicz
Language: Hebrew
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

About a year after the [Adolph] Eichmann trial, director and local industry pioneer, Natan Gross, explores the traumas of the Holocaust for the first time in Israeli film. Actor, Shimon Yisraeli, himself a pioneer of one-man shows on Israeli stages, wrote and spearheaded this one-man film which tells the story of Holocaust survivor, Emmanuel, who works as a security guard on a construction site where he grapples with all the memories of those dark times that come flooding back: the train journey, the Dachau death camp, his murdered paramour, and his former friend, Hans, who joined the Nazis and killed his father. He shows up at his childhood home where Hans now lives: following an encounter with a vicious dog, Emmanuel finds shelter in the house cellar where he bides his time – remembering, hallucinating, and working up an appetite for revenge. The Cellar won the Best Feature Film Suitable for Young People award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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