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The Hangman (Hatalyan) Israel / 2011

The administrator of the mass deportation of Jews to Nazi camps, Adolf Eichmann, was hanged in Israel’s first and only execution. Shalom Nagar, a religious Jewish ritual slaughterer and street philosopher who believes in charity, was the hangman.

This documentary looks through the eyes of ‘the other’ – the marginalised Sephardi prison warden who was forced to do the dirty work of killing the arch-enemy. With it, he took on a national burden that dramatically shaped his country and his life.

Shalom’s voice, yet unheard, coming from the edge of Israel’s historical events, reveals a man laden with personal tragedies but one who maintains his faith and humour. From his lonely position, he imparts a deeply human and telling message.

“My commander came to me... and asked me, ‘Shalom, are you willing to press the button?’... I said I didn’t want to.” Shalom Nagar

“It is hard not to think of Shalom Nagar as the Forrest Gump of Israel... a small, riveting film.” The Jewish Daily Forward

60 mins / Hebrew with english subtitles

Director — Netalie Braun

Awards — Best Documentary Haifa Film Festival 2011