The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive Collection

The Key

28 Minutes, Unknown date
Genre:
Short Film
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Directed by: Bernard Evslin
Production:Roni Yaakov
Production Company:United Jewish Appeal
Photographer: Yitzhak Herbst
Language: English
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Subtitles: English, Hebrew

A film produced by the united Jewish appeal. A boy named David Levi lives for seven years with his family on the Ma’abara (transit camp for new Jewish immigrants, typically from Muslim countries). One day he wanders nearby and discovers a proper home. David sneaks inside and is awed by the amenties. Hearing people apprach, he sneaks back out, only to witness a gentleman, presumably the representitive of the Jewish Agency, handing a key to new tennants. The representitive explains that the new neighborhood remains laregely unbuilt due to shortage of funds. David wanders between the new houses, finding a key similar to the one thatwas handed. That same day, David’s brother, Yosef, returns home of leave from the army. Yosef is appaled by the povery on the Ma’abarah as well as by its impact on his family’s spirit: the father is disgrunteled, the mother mournful, and his sister ran off in anguish. Yosef, too, retreats: returning to the army almost as soon as he arrived. David understands that he is the only member of the family determined enough to bring about change. He returns that night to the new neighborhood and speaks to the Agency representitive, asking for his family to be advanced in the waiting list. The representitive explains thathe cannot do anything, and asks the boy to be patient. David returns to thecabin, and gazes at his key with faith and hope. The film concludes with a fundraising speech by Herbert A. Friedman, Executive Vice-Chairman of the UJA.

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