Ein ganz gewöhnlicher Jude (Just an Ordinary Jew)
Germany 2005

Opening 19 Jan 2006

Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Writing credits: Charles Lewinsky
Principal actors: Ben Becker, Siegfried W. Kernen, Samuel Finzi

Journalist Emanuel Goldfarb (Ben Becker) is invited to speak to a class of school children on the topic of being a German Jew living in Germany today. Goldfarb can’t imagine what would be of interest to kids regarding his very ordinary life. He is more than annoyed by the invitation and verbally tells the teacher he will not accept the task. Goldfarb announces to the teacher that he will receive a letter to confirm this fact within two days. Although the teacher is saddened to receive his harsh words, he tries one last time to encourage him to take the assignment because of its importance to the next generation. Outraged at the undue pressure the teacher has now put upon him to perform, Goldfarb hibernates in his apartment to begin the letter. However, he is haunted by the words of the teacher’s closing plea. Goldfarb enters into an amazingly intense monologue being forced to do some soul searching. As he confronts his mask of an “ordinary” Jew, he recognizes that his life, along with his Jewish heritage, is very unordinary. Becker’s stage performance on the big screen is awesome and incredibly thought provoking. My hat goes off to director Oliver Hirschbiegel for risking the presentation of the subject matter with simple creativity. (Karen Pecota)

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