awardsMokum Aleph

Mokum Aleph

"The Amsterdam Ghetto is the womb of Dutch Jewry. ... Whoever, in West Europe, wants to absorb the primal light of the Jewish soul, must enter the Amsterdam ghetto." *

Entering the Amsterdam ghetto is not possible anymore.
Even though the archives are full of material, the people are gone. Their culture, their way of life, their presence seems no more than a memory and the testimonies are also scarce in the slow disappearance of the last survivors.
This lost world is brought to life in the film. Amsterdam shows a hidden and almost forgotten but very own face.

The film begins here and now.
We wander through contemporary Amsterdam; places where there are visible traces of the pre-war Jewish community and also where something new and modern has taken the place of what used to be.
Thus begins the search for what ever gave Amsterdam he name 'Jerusalem of the West'. The most decisive, the core of the Amsterdam Jewish identity is the vanished Jewish neighbourhood. The place where everything began, the 'womb' from which all stemmed.


Amsterdam has many 'Jewish' neighbourhoods: the Rivers, the PL Tak neighbourhood, the Plantage , the Transvaal neighbourhood. But there is only one district called the 'Jewish Quarter', the area between the Nieuwmarkt and the Waterlooplein, Rapenburg and Jodenbreestraat. This district underwent a fundamental change between the 50's and 80's, making it very hard to rediscover anything of the old Jewish neighbourhood.

Until 1939 the number of Jewish inhabitants of Amsterdam counted 80.000. Before the end of the Second World War, this number has dwindled to about 10.000. Despite this fact, Amsterdam is still saturated with their legacy.

The film focuses on the unspoiled atmosphere, the undamaged life before the war. The ending of this story is known, what is told in the film is what preceded. As if history could be reversed.

* Meijer de Hond: Kiekjes 1, Jodenbreestraat - Waterlooplein (1926)

• Premiere 2015: Film theater Kriterion, introduction by the mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan
• Dutch broadcast: NPO 2, 25 October 2015
• Screening: Bookstore Jimmink Amsterdam, after remembrance day, May 4th 2017

awards  OFFICIAL SELECTION: Great Lakes International Film Festival 2018, Erie Pennsylvania, USA
awards  SECOND SELECTION: Night of the Short Film 2018, Antwerp Belgium
awards  OFFICIAL SELECTION: Ouchy Film Awards 2018, Lausanne Switzerland
awards  OFFICIAL SELECTION: Largo Film Awards 2018, Switzerland
awards  SEMI FINALIST: Motion For Pictures 2018, Cary, North Carolina USA
awards  FIRST SELECTION: Moving Pictures Festival 2018, Kalmthout Belgium
awards  WINNER: Best Documentary, Feel The Reel International Film Festival 2018, Glasgow United Kingdom
awards  SEMI-FINALIST: STIFF San Mauro Torinese International Film Festival 2018, Italy
awards  OFFICIAL SELECTION: Ogeechee International History Film Festival 2018, Statesboro, Georgia USA
awards  OFFICIAL SELECTION: MedFF Mediterranean Film Festival, Siracusa, Sicily Italy
awards  OFFICIAL SELECTION: Near Nazareth Festival, Israel
awards  SEMI FINALIST: Los Angeles CineFest, USA
awards  FINALIST: BLOW-UP International Arthouse Film Festival Chicago 2017, USA
awards  WINNER: Best Historical Documentary in the Feature Documentary Category, Brasov International Film Festival 2017, Canada
awards  OFFICIAL SELECTION: Brasov International Film Festival Market 2016, Canada

• Film
• ±40 minutes
• Recorded on: HD

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