Set in a tough, uncompromising urban neighbourhood in modern-day Berlin, Kaddish for a Friend fleshes out an unlikely friendship; one between an elderly Russian-Jewish World War II veteran and a 14 year old Palestinian refugee.
Alexander (Ryszard Ronczweski) is determined to maintain his independent lifestyle despite the years catching up with him. Ali (Neil Belakhdar), a fierce supporter of the Palestinian resistance, is desperate to gain the acceptance of his peers, which is why he accepts a dare to break into and trash Alexander’s apartment.
Anxious to avoid possible deportation after Ali’s criminal act, his parents force him to repair the damage. In the process, he confronts Alexander, and they both realise that deep-seated bigotries and stereotypes are irrelevant in the face of friendship and humanity.
Kaddish For a Friend is an optimistic fable of hope, amity, forgiveness and sympathy between Jewish people and their Palestinian neighbours – both in the homeland and right across the world.
“ ... a genuine and moving coming-of-age story.” Boston Globe
93 mins / German with English subtitles
Director — Leo Khasin
Cast — Ryszod Ronczewski, Neil Belakhdar
Awards — Audience Awards Washington Jewish Film Festival 2012 and Nuremberg Film Festival 2012