Tuesday, November 12, 2019

|Podcast| Wolkenbruch's Wondrous Journey Into the Arms of a Shiksa

Motti Wolkenbruch, a young Orthodox Jew, finds himself at a turning point. His beloved mother wants him to get married and presents one prospective candidate after the other. Unfortunately, none of the women appeal to him, as they all resemble his mother. The situation gets even more complicated when Motti secretly falls in love with the non-Jewish girl Laura, a so-called Shiksa.

“My dad was born in Israel, and it was him, who first drew my attention to the novel. He was also adamant that I should play Motti, if ever the book was turned into a movie. So for me this is a deeply emotional and personal project.” Joel Basman

Joel Basman is the most prominent rising acting talent in Switzerland, also making movies internationally in Europe and the US. He has won numerous film and TV awards at home as well as the LOLA in Germany and the Danish Film Prize. In 2017 LAND OF MINE was nominated for the Oscars as best foreign language film. Joel Basman is also making a name for himself with big US studios, appearing in the exceptional HBO series HOMELAND and in the remake of PAPILLON. 2017 he was also starring next to Léa Seydoux and Colin Firth in the new feature film KURSK by Thomas Vinterberg.

“This is such a charming story, full of amazing characters. Mame Wolkenbruch is a dream! The cast is fabulous, and I‘m so looking forward to working with this director. THANK HEAVEN for this movie!” Inge Maux

Inge Maux is a remarkable character performer. Besides her appearances at Vienna’s popular Volkstheater she was seen in David Schalkow’s BRAUNSCHLAG, the most successful series in Austrian TV history as well as in Ulrich Seidl’s award-winning feature PARADIES LIEBE. She was nominated for the German TV Academy Award as well as for the Austrian Film Prize. In MURER – ANATOMY OF A TRIAL Inge Maux gives a stifling testimony as a Holocaust survivor and was awarded with the German Screen Actors Award for Best Cast 2017.

JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast
5 NOMINATIONS FOR: “Best Film” “Best Script” “Best Actor” for Joel Basman “Best Supporting Role” for Noémie Schmidt “Best Supporting Role” for Sunnyi Melles
WON: “Best Actor” for Joel Basman

3 NOMINATIONS FOR: “Best Film” “Best Actor” “Best Supporting Role”
WON: 1 Award for “Best Film” 1 Award “Best Actor” for Joel Basman 1 Award “Best Supporting Role” for Noémie Schmidt

Over 326,000 admissions with box office takes of over 5,1 Million Dollars 

Distribution Company Switzerland: DCM Film Distribution (Schweiz) GmbH, Zurich
Acquisition worldwide: by Netflix

September 2018 Zurich Film Festival World Premiere
October 2018 Chicago Film Festival November 2018 UK Jewish Film Festival

Photo Credit: © AliochaMerker
“In his novel Thomas Meyer presents us with a humorous view of a community we live with door-to-door in the heart of Zurich, yet it is one which is alien to many of us. It is his singular insight into their universe and language that I found immediately fascinating. The plot creates an elegant bridge between two worlds. There is our own, seemingly free western world that offers individual freedom of choice, but risks to leave you lost and with no particular sense of belonging; and there is the universe of the Jewish Orthodox community, offering comfort, but where strict dogma may prove to be a challenge.”

“WOLKENBRUCH‘S WOUNDROUS JOURNEY INTO THE ARMS OF A SHIKSA is a plea for tolerance and mutual respect. And it is a love story and one about how to find your identity that comes straight from the heart.”

Michael Steiner is one of the most talented and successful Swiss film directors. His acclaimed MEIN NAME IST EUGEN (Rascals on the Road) won the Swiss national Film Prize and played to an audience of 600,000. It has been the second most successful film in Swiss film history. GROUNDING, his thriller set in the world of business and politics about the demise of national carrier Swissair also ran successfully and triggered lively national debate. In 2011 Steiner made the mystery thriller SENNENTUNTSCHI – an accomplished fusion of a medieval saga with contemporary blockbuster cinema.

Throughout his young life so far Motti Wolkenbruch (23) has behaved, and lived up to his family‘s expectations, especially those of his orthodoxly religious MAME. As a devout Jew she envisions a precise route for Motti‘s life: She wishes to see him marry well, and proceeds to invite suitable young female candidates to a succession of match-making events.

To Motti‘s chagrin most of these girls bear an uncanny resemblance to the Mame herself. The young man resists, suspecting that life has other, more exciting avenues on offer for him to explore. Soon his heart is ignited, as he furtively falls for beautiful LAURA (22) during a chance encounter at his university. 

Laura is very different from the women presented to him by his Mame. She wears body- hugging jeans and introduces him to gin-and-tonic cocktails. There is a flaw, however: Laura is a Shiksa, and thus taboo for a devout Jew. Still, Motti wishes to appeal, and he proceeds to trim his beard and get new, more stylish glasses. Thus, in his Mame‘s eyes, abetting the eradication of the very essence of Jewdom.

In her desperation the Mame seeks the advice of the rabbi. He recommends sending Motti on an edifying trip to Israel in order to find himself a pretty and suitably devout young bride there. However, the relatives who host him reside in the secular part of Tel Aviv, where they run a yoga studio where little distinction is made between Om and Shalom. Motti immerses himself into a new world and experiences his first erotic adventure with the alluring Yael.

Not seriously in love, but with new-found confidence, Motti returns to Zurich, more determined to follow his inclinations and continue to meet Laura, whereupon the Mame evicts him from the family home.

Alone in his hotel room Motti must take a decision: Should he pursue a traditional way of life ensconced in the comfort of his family‘s protection, or venture out on a wondrous journey into self-determination in the arms of a Shiksa...

The novel “Wolkenbruch‘s wondrous journey into the arms of a Shiksa” was written by Thomas Meyer. Published by the renowned Diogenes Verlag, it became an instant success in Switzerland and Germany, selling over 130’000 copies. The novel was nominated for the Swiss Book Prize in 2012 and was on the official Swiss Bestseller list for 46 weeks. Thomas Meyer was born in Zurich in 1974. He unites two rather different family stocks, a Ukrainian rabbi dynasty and the Meyers, who have lived in Birmensdorf near Zurich since the Middle Ages. One side of the family produced Communists, the other bank managers.

Photo Credit: Turnus Film
In the style of Woody Allen, the author Thomas Meyer draws from a reservoir of stories from the Jewish Orthodox community while narrating this coming-of-age novel, which is also a story of religious emancipation. He has sharpened these stories and cleverly condensed them into a fictional portrait of Zurich‘s Jewish Orthodox community, whose life largely escapes the eyes of the public.”  —FAZ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Interesting, as all characters are a hit - not just because the novel provides such a good template. This comedy is probably the most anticipated Swiss Film of the year and sold out at this year’s Zurich Film Festival in no time.” —CINEMAN

"The Jewish humor in this film is so strong, it could compete with that of the classic Woody Allen comedy.  Joel Basman brings a lot of heart to his performance.” —Solzy at the movie

“Under the direction of Michael Steiner, a highly enjoyable adaptation with credible local color has emerged. The result has wit and tempo, the rhythm carries a great soundtrack, the characters are flesh and blood, the rooms are full of life.” Neue Zürcher Zeitung

“Wolkenbruch’s Wondrous Journey into the Arms of a Shiksa really offers something different, and in a way that feels credible. It is genuinely refreshing to see a male lead and one that sends a positive message about organically becoming your true self in an endearing, enjoyable 90-minute movie. Looks the rom-com is growing up.” 
Maryam Philpott, International Jewish Filmfestival
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