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Review: It Is No Dream: The Life of Theodor Herzl

Richard Trank's documentary
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 4, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

In 50 years, Theodor Herzl predicted in his diary during the First Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, he would be recognized as the founder of the first Jewish state. He wasn't far off: Israel was established in 1948. Herzl also foresaw a disaster awaiting European Jews, a prophesy that proved all too accurate. Richard Trank's documentary relates how, as the Paris correspondent for a Viennese newspaper, Herzl watched while France sank into virulent anti-Semitism at the height of the Dreyfus Affair in 1895. Horrified, he resolved to save his people from the coming storm, deciding that their only recourse was establishing a nation in Palestine, an idea he outlined in his book Der Judenstaat. For years he struggled to fulfill his vision, meeting with the kaiser, the pope, and the British prime minister, among others. He died exhausted at the age of 44 in 1904. An epic, even Biblical story, brought down to Ken Burns size in this lackluster telling.

  Topics: Reviews , Israel, Judaism, documentary,  More more >
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