Who was Ernst Beschinsky, filmmaker Yair Lev’s grandfather? When he deals with an unexpected inheritance, two Beschinskys suddenly come to light – with the same date of birth, but not the same date of death. One died in Israel in 1969, the other in Austria in 1987. A real whodunit about the “real” Beschinsky begins.
Director: Yair Lev IL/AU 2018, documentary, premiere, Hebrew, English, German, Croatian with English subtitles Producers: David Deri Cinematography: David Deri Music: Jonathan Bar Giora Supported by The Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for The Arts, Israel; Markus Glaser, Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion, ORF, Fernsehfonds Austria (AT); Bavarian Broadcasting (DE)
Out of the blue, the director’s mother inherits a small house in England. All she has to do is prove that she is
Ernst Beschinsky’s daughter. Her joy quickly gives way to disappointment. A genealogist in Austria presents a
man with the same name and the same date of birth, and who died as the recognized president of the Jewish
community of Innsbruck. Filmmaker Yair Levy tries to solve the mystery, but stirs up a hornets’ nest. He finds
out that the Austrian Beschinsky was married to a woman whose brother and father were active Nazis. Was
this Beschinsky an impostor, was he even Jewish, and did he know Levy’s grandfather, who died in Israel? Yair
Lev distills from these questions a historical documentary thriller that proves once again: experienced history is
a lot more complex, contradictory, and disturbing than much of what is to be found in history books. Historian
Niko Hofinger, who worked on the film as a researcher, published Maneks Listen (Limbus Verlag), a novel about
the same material, in March 2018.
FIPADOC International Documentary Festival 2019, France; Diagonale 2019, Austria
THE LONGINGS OF MAYA GORDON (ISR 2017) HUGO II (ISR 2008) URI AVNERY – WARRIOR FOR PEACE (ISR 2002) HUGO (ISR 1989)
Yair Lev was born in Tel Aviv in 1959. He made two documentaries about his father, a Shoah survivor, HUGO (IL 1989) and HUGO II (IL 2008). He is also known for a film about journalist, politician, and peace activist Uri Avnery (URI AVNERY – WARRIOR FOR PEACE, IL 2002) and a TV documentary about artist Maya Gordon (THE LONGINGS OF MAYA GORDON, IL 2017). YOU ONLY DIE TWICE was nominated as the best Israeli documentary for the Ophir Awards 2018.