Every day, Mr. Zwilling pays a visit to the elderly Mrs. Zuckermann to speak German, to talk about Judaism and their city Czernowitz in the Ukraine, and to reminisce about the war. Mrs. Zuckermann has lived in the 20th century for ninety years; ‘a sad verdict‘, she calls it. The region where she lives is sometimes called the lost world. This century, Czernowitz has been part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire, Rumania, Germany and the Soviet Union. Once it was the centre of the Jewish culture, but a mere handful of Jews survived the concentration camps. Mr. Zwilling was one of them. He calls himself a pessimist ‘who is unfortunately always right‘, whereas Mrs. Zuckermann refuses to resort to defeatism, although her memories comprise almost all the misery of this century. Director Koepp says: ‘A culture has obviously been destroyed there, but not quite. People are living there. You cannot say that they are lost. They exist.‘

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Volker Koepp

Cinematography: Thomas Plenert

Nominations and Awards

  • European Documentary 1999