Endlich Tacheles Film
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Why do we make the film

We are convinced that new forms of remembering are needed today:

ENDLICH TACHELES! will provide young people with an emotional access point to the history of the Holocaust and motivate them to face it. The last witnesses of the Shoah will soon be gone, and textbooks alone are not enough to keep the memory alive. Yaar with his game, and we with our film, are taking steps in a new direction.

Our protagonists are young, funny and daring. Their views are controversial and raise topical questions: What does the Holocaust have to do with me, personally, today? How do I deal with the fact that my ancestors were victims or perpetrators? And what is the difference between guilt and responsibility? We are all connected to this part of history, no matter how aware we might be of the stories of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. 

With this film, we will reach today’s younger generation especially, since Yaar is one of them and speaks their language. We are planning to have screenings at schools and educational institutions. ENDLICH TACHELES! is a project against forgetting that makes the Holocaust accessible for the grandchildren’s generation.

The story

Yaar was born in Israel, but grew up in Germany, far away from Judaism and the story of his grandparents. As a child, his grandmother Rina was smuggled out of the Płaszów concentration camp, along with her little brother. She never talked about what happened to her during this time. Yaar's father Ilei, who was born twenty years after the war, still suffers from the Holocaust today. Yaar accuses him of having established himself as a victim.

But one day, Yaar is attacked with a knife on the street because he is Jewish. For the first time, he himself feels like a victim. And he has an idea: With the computer game “Als Gott schlief” (“When God Was Asleep”), he wants to address the Holocaust in a way that history lessons cannot. Above all, he wants to take control of his own story. Yaar sets out to visit his grandmother in Israel. He wants to find out what happened when she and her little brother were discovered by the Gestapo. But his grandmother remains silent.

Sarah and Marcel, two friends of Yaar’s, collaborate with him on the development of his computer game. Yaar decides to model one of the game’s protagonists, a little Jewish girl, after his grandmother Rina. Together with his friends, he visits Rina’s birthplace Krakow, where he uncovers a terrible family secret.

A Game becomes serious. The three friends recognize a link of past events to themselves, as they are grandchildren of the victims and perpetrators of that time. So begins a painful confrontation with their own history, which also impacts the relationship between father and son. Yaar has to find his way between the trauma of preceding generations and his own claim to an unburdened life.

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The main character

Why do I consider myself to be the most un-Jewish Jew in the world? Let's start with the fact that I'm not circumcised. We never celebrated the holidays, and we never ate kosher. I have a German girlfriend. I don't know anything about Judaism.  I don't even know the prayer that is recited on Shabbat. 
And yet at school, I was sometimes called a Jewish bastard.
Yaar Harell is an imaginative young Berliner who dreams of making a new Star Wars film someday. His world is science fiction and computer games. There is not much difference between him and his German friends, except for the minor detail that he happens to be Jewish. But is that something he wants?

At first he looks up to his father, but as he gets older, Yaar understands that his father suffers from the families history. Because he is afraid of being swallowed by the subject, he rejects everything Jewish and rebels against his father.

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What do I associate with Judaism? Basically, it's just suffering and death. That's what I associate with it. I am a new child in this world. Why should I suffer from events that my grandparents or parents had to endure? It's not fair.

When Yaar decides to be accompanied by a camera for the purpose of this film, he is ready to face his heritage – including all painful experiences this might entail. He embarks on a journey that eventually takes him closer to his roots.


Some author said we couldn't go anywhere without knowing where we came from. It's time to find out where I came from, so I can go somewhere. My bag is packed with all I need. But there's something holding me back. This history has been pulled over me like a dark coat. I’d like to get rid of it and make my peace.
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Three generations

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When Year's grandmother Rina and his grandfather Moshe met after the war, both were severely traumatized. As a child, Rina was smuggled in a large saucepan out of the Płaszów concentration camp near Krakow. Moshe had survived Auschwitz and the concentration camp death marches. Both of their families were wiped out, with few exceptions. In Israel, they began a new life, and together had three children. Outwardly they tried to function, but it was difficult for them to express feelings and to provide their children with a sense of emotional security.
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As a child, their son Ilei often witnessed his mother's despair. Even 20 years after the war, she still feared the Gestapo would come knocking on her door. These impressions and stories are haunting Ilei to this day. In order to protect his children, he shielded them from his family’s history and from Judaism in general. He relocated his family to Germany, where Yaar grew up, far removed from his grandparents and their memories of a painful past.
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The grandparents’ repressed memories, the father’s silence, the grandson’s rebellion – these are three generations’ different strategies for coming to terms with an inescapable past. And even without knowing any details, Yaar perceived his family’s heritage like a heavy burden throughout his life.

ENDLICH TACHELES! is far more than the story of a young Jew in Germany who wants to find himself - the film is an intense portrait of a family in whose life the Holocaust still leaves its mark.
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