Berlin: Theodore Herzl Biopic Set with Peter Medak Directing (EXCLUSIVE)

February 16th, 2016

Dave McNary
Film Reporter

H2O Motion Pictures is producing the biopic “Herzl,” based on the life of political activist Theodore Herzl — one of the key players in the creation of the state of Israel — with a fall shoot planned, Variety has learned exclusively.

“Herzl” will shoot on location in Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul, London, Paris and Jerusalem. Hungarian-born Peter Medak, whose credits include “The Ruling Class” and “Let Him Have It,” will direct from a script by Nicholas Kazan, who received an Oscar nomination for “Reversal of Fortune.”

Andras Hamori, whose credits include “Sunshine,” “The Sweet Hereafter” and “Cheri,” is producing.

Set at the turn of the 20th century,”Herzl” follows the story of self-made political activist Theodor Herzl and his tumultuous family life with Viennese socialite Julie Naschauer. Herzl saw the solution to the “Jewish Question” in the creation of a new country and laid the groundwork for contemporary Israel.

Development began over four years ago, inspired by Bernard Zissman’s book “Herzl’s Journey” and a screenplay by Geoff Morrow.

“The creation of the Jewish State and Theodor Herzl’s role in it is one of the most sensitive and controversial political issues in the world today,” Hamori said. “Artistic reasons aside, the reason development took this long is because we wanted to ensure our approach to the story was as well-balanced as possible.”

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Book Review By Martin Gilbert

April 27th, 2010

Many books have been written about the history of Zionism and the creation and existence of Israel. Sir Bernard Zissman, a British Jew, has written one of the most readable: a book of charm, wit and wisdom. Taking as his method a series of imaginary meetings and conversations with Theodor Herzl, the champions of political Zionism, Zissman reveals many Read the rest of this entry »