Chicago Premiere!

Sunday | October 29 | 3:30 pm
Hosted by BJBE. Pre-screening introduction and post-screening Q&A by filmmaker Yonatan Nir in person.

Sunday | November 5 | 11:30 am

Both screenings at the ArcLight Cinemas in The Glen, Glenview

Documentary. 70 min.
In Hebrew and German with English subtitles.
In the 1930’s, Wilfrid Israel was a wealthy Jewish businessman and scion of Berlin’s largest department store. Even before Kristallnacht, he was involved in the saving of tens of thousands of Jews, including all 700 of his Jewish employees. He also played a key role in the founding and funding of the Kindertransport. Israel died in 1943, along with Gone With the Wind’s Leslie Howard, when on his way to a rescue mission, his plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe. In the memorial book that was published a year after his death, one can find the names of Albert Einstein, Gandhi, Martin Buber, Chaim Weitzmann and many more. All praise Wilfrid and his rescue efforts, yet his story was kept untold. With the assistance of volunteers from his Kibbutz HaZore’a (founded by German-Jewish refugees) and around the world, Yonatan Nir embarks on a six-year long investigative journey, discovering secrets that were kept for decades, and are now revealed on film for the first time.

Director: Yonatan Nir


Award-winning filmmaker Yonatan Nir has been telling stories for over a decade- from epic photojournalist reports to the critically acclaimed Dolphin Boy (BJFF 2011), which was acquired by Disney Pictures and screened in over 130 film festivals. After joining Hey Jude Productions in 2008, Nir went on to direct and produce Beyond the Boundaries and Cutting the Pain. Nir is a film professor and has given over 400 lectures in Israel and around the world.

The Essential Link: The Story of Wilfred Israel