Skip to main content

THE MASCOT

Australia, 2002 (MIFF 2003, Australian Showcase)

Director: Lina Caneva

During WWII the residents of five-year-old Alex Kurzem's village were rounded up to be shot. The spirited kid ran off, living for two months in nearby woods. Scrounging food (he had determined that strawberries grew in close proximity to the corpses of fallen soldiers), braving weather and dodging enemy patrols, the child finally arrived exhausted at a farmhouse. He was turned in to collect a bounty for captured Jews.

Kurrem was befriended by an enemy soldier, his life spared and he was made the mascot of the invaders. Over the next few years he became assimilated into his new life and, despite his Jewish background, he appeared in propaganda films promoting the Aryan way of life and lived in comfort and security. Given a new name and birthdate, he was taken in by a wealthy Latvian family who migrated to Australia after the war.

Now retired and living in a quiet Melbourne suburb, Kurzem decided to reveal the secret he had kept from everyone. The truth has a totally unexpected impact on his life and loved ones. This incredible but true story or a survivor has a bizarre twist best kept as another secret, this time to be revealed at The Mascot's MIFF premiere.

See also...

A COLD SUMMER

When Bobby and Tia meet by accident, the last thing they want is a relationship. Bobby is hell-bent on self-destruction and, in Tia, he finds a willing companion.They embark on a brutal and damaging ... More »

TEESH AND TRUDE

In Unit 6B at Platypus Rise Flats, two hardened and damaged women living on a diet of soapies, sarcasm and frustration are about to reach breaking point. A bad day becomes worse by the hour and to ... More »

KABBARLI: A FILM ABOUT DAISY BATES

Kabbarli sheds light on a peculiar moment of colonial superiority sheltering under a lace parasol. The film's subject, Irish-born Daisy Bates, spent more than 30 years living with Aboriginal tribes ... More »

MUSIC AND MURDER

Music and Murder follows the story of three ostensibly ordinary men who, we discover, have been incarcerated for horrific murders. Whilst in prison, they have each become accomplished musicians. As ... More »

MARTHA'S NEW COAT

15-year-old Martha lives in a small, inland, rural town with her mother and younger sister Elsie. Things are bleak in the town; shops are closing down, people are leaving in droves and there is ... More »

THE ORIGINAL MERMAID

A lyrical underwater sequence lures us into this enchanting tale of a vivacious and headstrong woman who was fearlessly ahead of her time.The achievements of Australian pioneer Annette ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director