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Date Location Tickets

North American Premiere

You Had to Be There

Directed by Avi Merkado-Ettedgui & Yaron Niski

Israel | 54 minutes | 2021

Hebrew with English subtitles

This brilliantly thoughtful film weaves together conversations with Holocaust survivors who talk about the importance of laughter and the use of humor during the Holocaust as a coping mechanism. Through interviews conducted by Israeli comedian Tal Friedman, we discover that even in the most horrible conditions imaginable, people found strength in humor and laughter. Provocative and deeply heartfelt, You Had to Be There will leave you laughing and appreciating the importance of humor even in the face of events that make you want to cry.

Accompanying the film premiere is a discussion with directors Avi Merkado & Yaron Niski, and moderator Rabbi Adam Gindea. To view the conversation please click here.

Director Photo
Avi Merkado-Ettedgui is an Israeli filmmaker and screenwriter working on both scripted and unscripted projects. His most recent documentary film, Avenging Evil, was nominated for RTS and received its World Premiere at MJFF 2019. Yaron Niski is an award-winning Israeli producer, writer, and director with 20 years of industry experience working on both scripted and unscripted shows. His most recent project includes Atlantis Rising for National Geographic with Oscar winning director James Cameron.
Director Avi Merkado-Ettedgui & Yaron Niski
Countries of Production Israel
Year of Presentation 2021
Language(s) Hebrew with English subtitles
Premiere Status North American Premiere
Runtime 54 minutes
Principal Cast Tal Friedman, Shmulik Atzmon, Dr. Chaya Ostrower, Rivka Michaeli
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