• Ideas
  • May 05, 2011

Film Blog: Killing Kasztner

Kasztner in radio studio, Israel. Courtesy the Kasztner family.

In her latest film, the actress-turned-documentary filmmaker Gaylen Ross depicts the trial and assassination of Israel Kasztner, a Hungarian Jew who was assassinated in Tel Aviv on March 3, 1957 for his alleged collaboration during World War II with the Nazis. Kasztner had negotiated for the release of Hungarian Jews bound for Auschwitz. With footage from present day Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the United States, prewar Hungary, Nazi-occupied Hungary, along with some taken in Israel during the trial, the film follows Kasztner’s daughter Zsuzsi and her three daughters Merav, Michal and Keren Michaeli in their efforts to restore his place in history—not as a villain but rather a victim, and even a hero.