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It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl

In this seminal biodoc on the life and arduous struggles of the progenitor of the establishment of the modern Jewish state of Israel, Academy Award-winning director Richard Trank (“The Long Way Home”) presents a compelling and spellbinding portrait of Theodor Herzl; a man who was often shunted aside or patently misunderstood in the annals of history.

Produced by Moriah Films, in association with the Simon Wiesenthal Center film department, “It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl” puts a personal face, hitherto unknown, on the vicissitudes that Herzl endured in his relatively short, but historically impactful life.

It Is No Dream follows Herzl as he meets with Kings, Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, a Sultan, a Pope and government ministers from Constantinople to St. Petersburg, from Paris to Berlin, from Vienna to Vilna in his quest to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Israeli President and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres appears in the film, discussing his recollections as a young boy growing up in a small Polish town about Herzl’s importance in his upbringing and how his family was inspired by him to become Zionists and move to Palestine in 1934. It also presents the recollections and memoirs of those Jews who, inspired by Theodor Herzl, decided to settle in Palestine in the 1890’s and the early 1900’s and highlights Zionists such as Max Nordau (best selling social critic), Chaim Weizmann (Israel’s first President) and David Ben Gurion (Israel’s first Prime Minister), who were early adherents to the cause. And it examines Herzl’s vision for what the Jewish state would become and how he advocated peaceful co-existence between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. Featuring rare archival film footage of the period and never before seen stills and artifacts, It Is No Dream also includes newly shot footage of the places where Herzl lived and visited. Working with the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem, the production team was given access to the original manuscripts of Herzl’s plays, diaries and his handwritten version of “Der Judenstaat”. A rare first edition of the booklet was also filmed for the documentary.

Co-written and produced by two-time Academy Award winner Rabbi Marvin Hier, It Is No Dream is the twelfth production of Moriah Films.

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Tags: Leadership, Zionism, Politics, People and Society, Arts and Culture, Holocaust, Israel Engagement, History, Nationalism, Land and Nature, Diaspora, Jerusalem

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