Skip to main content


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...


Who really wrote Shakespeare? Even the director of London's Globe theatre has his doubts. Melbourne-born filmmaker Michael Rubbo probes experts from London to Seattle, arriving at a film essay of ... More »

The Making of Dolphin Glide

Screening with Dolphin Glide is The Makng of Dolphin Glide, a privileged look behind the scenes, at the methods and means employed by Greenough as he captures his amazing footage. ... More »


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 »


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 »


Jason and Julian, a couple of naïve Sydneysiders, decide that their future lies in filmmaking. They beg, borrow and max out their credit cards to scrape together a $100,000 budget. One million ... More »


Placid (Ben Lee) is an awkward, troubled teen. His school life was marred by bullying and the embarrassing eccentricities of his aging flower-power parents (Miranda Richardson, Blackadder and Garry ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director