Synopsis: In the summer of 2015, Germany hosted the European Maccabi Games (also known as the Jewish Olympics) at the Waldbühne Stadion, site of Hitler’s 1936 Olympics for the first time ever.
Inspired by the heroic 1930s’ Maccabiah riders, eleven motorcyclists carry the torch and fly their flag from Tel-Aviv to Berlin, capturing this symbolic moment. Each European country holds a chilling resonance as each biker discovers or reveals how their families survived. They have to confront the past, address the present and contemplate the future. This is not simply a ‘Jewish” story, it is a story of a people overcoming the worst from their fellow man to restate our common humanity. Ultimately, the film explores the impact of trauma and raises the question of whether ‘to tell or not to tell’.
Director’s statement: This is the first full length feature I have ever made. It has been a project of passion in my firm belief that Jews should never again bow their heads to fear.
My foray into filmmaking began in 2012 when I was asked to be a correspondent for a LA based company covering the 2013 Maccabiah Games in Israel. Of the six short stories I produced, one was on the heroic missions of the early 1930’s motor bikers. I interviewed Maccabi World Union’s Chairman to hear, “Maccabi saved my family from the nails of the Nazis.”
When I heard that Berlin, this shrine to Nazi power, would host the European Maccabi Games for the very first time, the title, “Back to Berlin” came to me for everything it symbolized.
I would take a group of modern day bikers from Israel to Berlin to deliver the Maccabiah Torch defiantly flying the Israeli flag in a Europe, where once again, anti-Semitism often cloaked in anti Israel sentiment is rearing its ugly head. I believe that Back to Berlin is an important story that should be told.
Cooler than Hell’s Angels … These are God’s angels riding against intolerance and genocide….