’A Perfect candidate for death’
By Merav Yudilovitch
Israeli director Eyatn Fox and his life partner Gal Uchovsky will direct and produce a new movie in Germany which will be based on the memoirs of Gad Beck, depicting his life as a young Jewish gay man in Nazi Germany. The movie is scheduled to begin filming towards the end of 2008 in Berlin with a cast of German, American and Israeli actors.
Fox and Uchovsky also produced and directed the globally-successful film Walk on Water, which deals with the memory of the Holocaust among second and third generation Jews and Germans.
According to Fox, the initiative for the film came from German production company X-Filme Creative Pool, which also produced films such as Ron Lola, Run and Goodbye Lenin.
The company’s directors, said Fox, simply "fell in love" with the story. "I can’t blame them. This is a captivating book that is like no other ever written about the Holocaust," he stated.
Trying to explain why X-Filme decided to team up with an Israeli crew for the project, Fox said, "They thought that German directors had too many issues regarding the Holocaust... they simply thought that Israelis who managed to deal with the Holocaust in a successful manner would be able to work with these materials as well."
’His struggle relevant to my life’
Gad Beck was born in Berlin in 1923 to a Jewish father and a Christian mother who converted to Judaism. When the Second World War broke out, he joined the Jewish Halutz group that operated in the city.
Towards the end of the war, at the age of 20, with a forged Swiss passport and money smuggled from Geneva, Beck was responsible for the lives of more than 50 young Jews who hid across Berlin.
After the war, Beck remained in the city and helped prepare the survivors for immigration to Palestine. He himself immigrated to the country with his lover in 1947, but returned to Berlin in 1979.
"Gad beck insisted to survive and to go on living, although he was a perfect candidate for death. He was a homosexual, he was Jewish, he was everything the world which he lived in wanted to do away with. His struggle is relevant to my life, I understand this desire not to give in to a society that rejects you, to fight and find a way to come out of it alive," Fox said.