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KADDISH FOR A FRIEND (KADDISCH FÜR EINEN FREUND)

KADDISH FOR A FRIEND
Scene from KADDISH FOR A FRIEND (photo © SiMa Film)

Growing up in a Palestinian refugee camp, the 14-year-old Ali Messalam learned to hate Jews at an early age. After escaping Lebanon, he and his family end up in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Here, he tries to fit in and longs for nothing more than to be accepted by his fellow Arab youths. But to gain this recognition, he has to prove himself. In a test of courage, he breaks into the apartment of his Russian neighbor Alexander Zamskoy, an 84-year-old Jewish WWII veteran. But Ali’s “friends” follow him into the apartment and vandalize the old man’s home with abandon. Alexander only recognizes Ali when he returns home earlier than expected and reports him to the police. To avoid being sentenced and deported, Ali is forced to seek out closeness to his enemy…

KADDISH FOR A FRIEND is a tragicomic story about friendship, trust and the art of forgiveness.


Leo Khasin was born in Moscow in 1973 and has been livingt in Germany since 1981. He initially studied Dentistry, followed by studies at the Kaskeline Film Academy in Berlin and the Autorenschule Hamburg. He has worked as an assistant director and script developer on numerous film and television productions. His films include: the shorts DEAR MOM (LIEBE MUTTER, 2001), ANDERE MENSCHEN (music video for Vanessa Mason, 2003), THIRST (DURST, 2003), KICKBACK (2004), LIVEDEMO (music video, 2005), BERLIN FUCKING CITY (mood video, 2008), BROKEN COMEDY (2009), and his feature debut KADDISH FOR A FRIEND (KADDISCH FÜR EINEN FREUND, 2011).
Genre Tragicomedy
Category Feature
Year of Production 2011
Director Leo Khasin
Screenplay Leo Khasin
Cinematography Mathias Schnöningh
Cast Ryszard Ronczewski, Neil Belakhdar, Sanam Afrashteh, Neil Malik Abdullah, Heinz W. Krückeberg, Anna Böttcher, Fritz Roth, Erhan Emre
Producer Martin Bach
Co-Producers Lucia Keuter, Jochen Randig, Birgit Metz, Georg Steinert
Production Company SiMa Film Sigrid und Martin Bach/Munich, in co-production with WDR, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE
Length 94 min
Format 35 mm, color, cs
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Kinoforum St. Petersburg 2011, Giffoni 2011, BUSTER Copenhagen 2011, Tashkent Film Forum Golden Guepard 2011, Boston Jewish FF 2011, Castellinaria Bellinzona 2011, Washington D.C. Jewish FF 2011, Jerusalem Jewish FF 2011, Houston Jewish FF 2012, BUFF Malmö 2012, JFilm Pittsburgh Jewish FF 2012, Kristiansand International Children's FF 2012, Toronto Jewish FF 2012, Zlin 2012, Shanghai 2012, SANFIC 2014
Awards Special Mention Giffoni 2011, Castello d’Oro & Fuori le Mura Awards at Castellinaria Bellinzona 2011, Special Jury Award Tashkent 2011, Audience Award Boston 2011, Audience Favorite Washington D.C. 2011, German Film Award 2013 (Best Children's Film)
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Fund
German Distributor Farbfilm Verleih

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