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original title:



Giles Nuttgens

costume design:

Anthony Unwin








Ready (24/07/2023)

Inspired by real events, SHOSHANA is a political thriller set in the 1930s in Tel Aviv, a brand new European, Jewish city being built on the shores of the Mediterranean. Thomas Wilkin (Douglas Booth) is in love with the city and with Shoshana Borochov (Irina Starshenbaum). Through their relationship the film explores the way extremism and violence pushes people apart, forcing people to choose one side or the other.
Wilkin works with Geoffrey Morton (Harry Melling) in the anti terrorist squad of the British Palestine Police force, chasing the charismatic poet and underground leader Avraham Stern (Aury Elby). Stern believes Israel can only be built through violence. His two main targets are Wilkin and Morton.
Shoshana, like most of Tel Aviv, is modern, progressive and feminist. She hates the politics of Stern and his followers. But as the violence builds everyone is forced to choose which side they will fight on.

Shoshana is a film that we started working on 15 years ago, when the Jerusalem Film Festival gave an award to a film I had made called A MIGHTY HEART which told the story of Marianne Pearl, whose husband Daniel was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan. I was invited to Jerusalem as the festival was showing a short retrospective of our films. Whilst there I read Tom Segev’s book One Palestine, Complete which is a brilliant account of the time between the two world wars when Britain had the mandate to govern Palestine. This is part of our colonial history that has largely been overlooked or forgotten in Britain, but one which has been crucial to the history of Israel. At the time It felt as though the ongoing American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan echoed in many ways the mistakes made by the British in Palestine.
Joshua Hyams (producer) and I began to research that period of history, visiting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, watching the wonderful archive at the Spielberg Film Institute, and working with our Israeli researcher Hila Baroz.
The story of Shoshana Borochov and Tom Wilkin felt like the perfect focus for our film, as it reveals the way political extremism and violence drives wedges between people, forcing them apart. Perhaps the reason we were finally able to make the film now, after so many years of trying, is that this theme is more relevant than ever, not only in relation to what is happening in Israel itself. In Britain Brexit forced us into two separate camps, America had Trump and there is the ongoing tragedy of what is happening in Ukraine.