My passion is film. I love going to the movies and whenever I can, I go to the Cannes Film Festival.
This year I finally was able to present the last draft of a very special script about the story of the Jewish State and its visionary, Theodor Herzl, written by an excellent American writer named John Gallagher.
The script really describes him as a frustrated playwright who all he wanted was fame and recognition all while having issues with his wife, Judy. In the society in Vienna where he lived, he was trying so hard to receive this recognition despite knowing it would not be easy as a Jew. This gave an opportunity for the anti-Semites to express themselves.
I presented this project to many producers, directors, and distributors and to my disappointment, almost all of them said the same thing: the audience will not come to a movie about Herzl. It’s not a movie about Ghandi and it’s not about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But I am not giving up. Not on Herzl— and not on the idea of the Jewish State. Somehow I will reach the right producer, the right director, or the right actor who will bring this extraordinary character to life.
Timing is everything. Herzl is the one who gets the credit for the vision of the Jewish State. When you read his 100 pages about the manifest of the Jewish State—Had they only have listened to him, Mein Kampf would not have been written. Herzl believed, “if you will it, it is not a dream,” and I am going to keep that same state of mind until I produce this film.
During my time in Cannes, I went to see the movie by Lars Von Trier, Melancholia. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kirsten Dunst, the film is about the coming destruction of the world. I attended the press conference where he discussed this film, and to my dismay I heard him say terrible things like, “I understand Hitler... Israel is a pain in the ass.”
Immediately, he tried to justify saying this by saying he means it in an artistic way. In my mind there is no justification for such words. But even so, after I heard him, I realized even more how important the making of this movie is. Everyone who will leave the theater after seeing this (soon to be made) film will know that Herzl’s idea of envisioning a Jewish State will eventually save the world from destruction. The world needs to wake up and understand that the Jews are the world’s keeper. That without the Jewish State, there will be turmoil again. It is a kin to the Dutch story of the little boy who stopped the flood by putting his finger into the hole in the damn. Now Israel, thanks to Herzl’s vision, is that little boy.
As Herzl said, “if you will it, it is not a dream.” Right now this movie is my dream. I feel I owe it to the legacy of Herzl, that the world will know who he was. He is my Ghandi.