Synopsis:

“The House on August Street” tells the remarkable, unknown story of Beate Berger, a German Jew who single-handedly rescued over 100 children during the Holocaust, smuggling them from Berlin to Palestine in the 1930s. Berger, founder of the “ Beith Ahawah” (House of Love) Children’s Home, was quick to recognize the Nazi threat and resolved to protect ” her” 120 children who lived under her care in August street 14-16. This is a film about memory, about hope and about a woman who understood reality around her like very few did at the time. But most of all it is a film about love which was the essence of “Beith Ahawah” on Auguststarße 14-16. The film incorporates testimonies, rare archive footage and monologues played by the German actress Naomi Kruass, filmed in the original “Beith Ahawah” on August Street, Berlin. 

Technical:

63 minutes, Israel 2007

Director: Ayelet Bargur 

Cinematographer: Shai Levy Monologues Cinematographer: Dudu Itzhaki

Screenwriter: Ayelet Bargur

Editor: Einat Glaser – Zarhin

Producers: Edna Kowarsky & Elinor Kowarsky – Eden Productions

  • Second Prize for Best Documentary , Haifa International Film Festival, Israel, September 2007
  • Official Selection,The Boston Jewish Film Festival, USA, November 2007
  • Official Selection,International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Germany, November 2007
  • Official Selection,International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Germany, November 2007
  • Official Selection,”Saviors on the Screen” – JCC Manhattan FF, USA,April 2008
  • Official Selection,Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Canada, May 2008
  • Official Selection,Berlin Jewish Film Festival, Germany, May 2008
  • In Competition,5th International Film Festival Jewish Motifs Poland, April 2008
  • Official Selection,LA Jewish Film Festival, USA, May 2008
  • The Grand Prix Award for Best Documentary , European Association of Regional Television, “CIRCOM REGIONAL”, April 2008
  • Official Selection,San Joaquin Film Festival, USA, June 2008)
  • Nominee, for Best Documentary Film- Israeli Film Academy Awards 2008
  • Official Selection,- Ischia Film Festival, Italy, June 2008
  • In Competition,Gandhi Panorama (International Festival of Films on Gandhiji and his principles),India, October 2008
  • In Competition,PLATFORMA VIDEO8, Greece, November 2008
  • Official Selection,Washington Jewish Film Festival, USA, December 2008
  • Official Selection,Tucson Jewish Film Festival, USA, January 2009
  • Official Selection,Northern Virginia International Jewish Film Festival, USA, August/December 2009
  • Official Selection,Jewish Museum of New York, USA, April 2009
  • Official Selection,Flying Broom International Women’s FF, Turkey, May 2009
  • The Second Authority for Television and Radio, Channel 2- Israel
  • The Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, Cinema Project –Israel
  • RBB- Germany
  • MDR- Germany
  • DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program- Germany

This valuable historical document tells with great expertise and effectiveness the moving story of the children of Beith Ahawah in Berlin and the way they were brought to Israel. The director has made excellent use of varied cinematic tools to create a work which is important, artistically satisfying and engrossing. (Haifa international film festival 2007, jury’s statement)

“It is a fantastic story with a very good archive material, wonderful dramatized parts and current filming of some of the children who were saved by the Heroine Beate Berger. It all creates a mix of emotions, compassion and humor in a documentary.” (PRIX CIRCOM 2008 Jury report)

“ A most impressive way to exhibit the prevailing ambiance in Germany at the rise of the Nazis… Extremely convincing dramatic moments are created through the imaginary dialogue between the director and her great aunt.” Berliner Zeitung

“Breathtaking moments for actor Naomi Krauss as Beate Berger. With chilling clarity and without the slightest hint of misrepresentation, she shares with the viewer the process whereby she realized that Germany is no longer a place for Jewish children.” Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany

“Immeasurable love and emotion, without a drop of sentimentality nor nostalgic schmaltz. A meticulously forged work of cinema, both modest and humble, moving and inspiring.” Yehuda Stav, Yediot Aharonot, Israel

“A stirring, unique compilation of human portraits that portrays the painful past, in the present” Noam Buxbaum, Ha’aretz Online, Israel

“Exceptionally moving” Yael Shuv, Time Out, Israel

“Highly recommended” Yon Feder, Ynet, Israel

Ayelet Bargur was born in 1969 in San Francisco. From 1992 to1996 she studied in the Camera Obscura School of Art, and has an MA degree in disciplinary arts from Tel Aviv University. Since then she is directing Drama and Documentary films. Her documentaries and feature films were presented in international film festivals around the world and were granted with various awards. Ayelet Bargur’s films reflect daily life through her personal point of view: ‘At the End of the Day’, Documentary, 1999; ‘Day by Day’, Documentary, 2004; ‘So Near so Far’, Documentary, 2003; ‘As if Nothing Happened’, Short feature film, 2000, This film won first prize at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, and was nominated to the Israeli Academy Award for short features. In 2003 Ayelet received an Artists in residence grant from the DAAD in Berlin and was invited by the ‘Akademie der Künste’ (Academy of Arts ) in Berlin to be a guest of the 7th International Summer Academy in Rüdersdorf near Berlin. During the time she spent in Berlin after receiving the DAAD Scholarship, Ayelet Bargur made a short film called ‘An Israeli in Berlin’ (2004) which indicates the on going search for one own tracks and always the questioning ones self identity. Her stay in Berlin became a journey back to her own family history and of recovering the unknown story of “Beith Ahawah”. Her book on “Beith Ahawah” was published by one of the biggest publishers house in Germany DTV at 2006, and followed a documentary film on the same subject named ‘The House on August Street’.