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Four Questions

Short Films by Yael Reuveny about Jewish Life in Germany

Traditionally, the youngest child asks four questions during the seder meal that begins the Passover festival. Drawing on this tradition, film director Yael Reuveny asks Jews four questions about their Judaism and their lives in Germany. In four short films, the protagonists find very different, and always highly personal, answers to the questions. She presents the diversity of contemporary Jewish life in polyphonous, contradictory, surprising, and entertaining fashion.

Mesubin: The Gathered

With her video installation Mesubin, Yael Reuveny created one of the highlights of our core exhibition in collaboration with Clemens Walter. Across twenty-one monitors, more than fifty Jews come together virtually. Only a small fraction of the extensive video footage could be used for this artwork. In total, the director recorded fifty hours of interviews.

New Aspects

For our collection, Yael Reuveny produced these four short films out of this extensive material. They open different windows onto questions of Jewish self-definition, belonging and notions of home. In some cases, these films correspond to the installation in the core exhibition, but often they also voice new and unanticipated aspects.

Mah Nishtanah

“These people cannot be reduced to a common denominator. They have nothing in common – except for the invisible, but crucial, fact that they are Jewish,” Reuveny explains. To express this elusive commonality, each of the short films ends with the Mah Nishtanah, the sung version of the four questions from the Passover Haggadah, which the protagonists sing separately – and yet together – in unison.

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