The Movie

Herzl’s Journey – the Movie

The Journey – one man’s dream to build a country

Inspired by the book by Bernard Zissman who is an Executive Producer of the movie,  The Journey is now at an advanced stage of development. With an exciting screenplay by Geoff Morrow, the movie will be directed by the inspirational Hungarian born Hollywood Director Peter Medak and Produced by Academy Award nominee Andras Hamori and  Diana Phillips  all of whom bring wide experience and an impressive slate of successful films to their credit. Appointed to the team is Timothy Nicholas of Centrespur who has been involved in the financing of films with US studios and international indepenedents since 1980 and is responsibile for the financial structure of the project.


On the 14th May 1947, David Ben-Gurion said “ Tonight, every Jew should offer a prayer of thanks to Theodor Herzl, for when we awake, we will have a home and a flag to call our own.”

It is almost impossible to take our minds back over 100 years, and understand that then, the State of Israel was not even a dream, for very few men had even had the thought, let alone the dream.

The motion picture “The Journey”, tells the story of that dream. The story of Theodor Herzl, who was a man of many dreams – to be a successful engineer, a famous lawyer, a playwright – just something that would mark his existence on earth. Herzl, born in Budapest in 1860 and brought up in 19th century Vienna, committed the last ten years of his short life to seeking a national home for the Jewish people. His dream became a reality in 1948, over forty years after he died, and after two terrible world wars.

The film starts with his early life, his family and first true love, and with the anti-Semitism that he encountered, and the formation in his mind that Jews from all over the world, should be one people and one nation. We share his journey in seeking support for his dream, brought into sharp focus by the ludicrous trial in Paris of Captain Dreyfus convicted for treason because he was a Jew. We travel with him across the capitals of Europe. We join him as he bombards the Rothschilds in Paris, Joseph Chamberlain and the British government in London, the German Kaiser in Berlin, the mighty Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, even the Pope in Rome. We travel to the icy cities of Russia where Herzl raises the hopes of the Jewish peasants as he seeks to free them from persecution and pogroms. And finally, we witness the founding of the Zionist Movement, which was born of the first Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897.

The movie is full of tragedy and hope. It reflects the despair of Herzl whose struggle with his dream is matched only by the struggle in his personal life. This is a story of sadness and sacrifice, not for Herzl alone, but for his wife and family too, all of whom pay a terrible price for the commitment of a man’s dream.  This is a story that should be told, for Jews and non-Jews alike. For the former, it will surely bring a sense of great pride. For the latter, an understanding that all that has ever been wanted by the Jewish people is peace.

© Bernard Zissman & Geoff Morrow June 2012