The Wandering Jew: The Life of Theodor Herzl

58 Minutes, 1921
Short Film
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Directed by: Otto Kreisler
Cast: Ernst Bath, Rudolph Schildkraut
Language: Silent
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The film’s original German title is Theodor Herzl, der Bannerträger des jüdishen Volkes, which literally translates to: ‘Theodor Herzl, flagbearer of the Jewish nation.’ Kreisler’s film is a silent biographical drama produced in Austria in 1921, which follows the story of Herzl as the forefather of Zionism. The film chronicles Herzl’s life from his student days when he was first exposed to Zionist ideology, through his decision to devote his life to the Jewish people, and all the way to his death. In the process, the film recreates several milestone historic meetings Herzl had taken with the likes of the Turkish sultan and the Pope, to name but a few, in a bid to better the Jewish people’s lives, and to find them a homeland.

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