Master of documentary film Herz Frank made in 1989 “There were Seven Simeons”, a film that deals with a famous jazz family, who during Soviet time hijacked a plane to get out of the USSR.
They were not the only ones as shows the fine first film of Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov, “Operation Wedding”. The director tells the dramatic story about her parents, who were part of a group of Russian Jews who planned to kidnap a plane and get out of the USSR. From Leningrad. In 1970. They were arrested before getting into the plane, the parents were sentenced to be sent to Siberia (the mother) and the father got death penalty.
The daughter/director tells the story by talking to them in their homes in Israel and by going with the mother to Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, and to the disgusting prison in Riga, where she was before being sent to the Gulag.
Archive material are introduced that reveal how international protests freed them – Golda Meir played an important role in an exchange deal with the Soviets – and – very interesting – there are clips from recent Russian propaganda tv shows, where the parents and the other members of the group are characterised as “terrorists”. The last of these “documentary fairy tales” as the father calls them was made in 2010.
The film is emotionally strong first of all because of the mother whereas the charismatic father is the one who comes up with the sarchastic analytical comments, while he is pouring another good glass of vodka.
The film will be screened as Documentary of the Month at
the Cinemateket in Copenhagen February 20 – March 2. In a
collaboration with Copenhagen Jewish Film Festival.
Israel, Latvia, 2016, 63 mins.