Jakob The Liar

Synopsis: In 1944 Poland, a Jewish shop keeper named Jakob is summoned to ghetto headquarters after being caught out near curfew. While waiting for the German Kommondant, Jakob overhears a German radio broadcast about Russian troop movements. Returned to the ghetto, the shopkeeper shares his information with a friend and then rumors fly that there is a secret radio within the ghetto. Jakob uses the chance to spread hope throughout the ghetto by continuing to tell favorable tales of information from "his secret radio." Jakob, however, has a real secret in that he is hiding a young Jewish girl who escaped from a camp transport train. A rather uplifting and slightly humorous film about World War II Jewish Ghetto life.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Peter Kassovitz
Production: TriStar Pictures
  2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
120 min

Hitler goes to|a fortuneteller and asks:

"When will I die?"

And the fortuneteller replies:

"On a Jewish holiday. "

Hitler then asks,|"How do you know that?"

And she replies:

"Any day you die|will be a Jewish holiday. "

So you ask me, as a Jew:

"How could you tell a joke like that|at a time like that?"

That's how we survived.

Those were some of the things|that kept us going.

Everything else,|the Germans had taken.

They built high walls with|barbed wire to shut us in the ghetto.

We were isolated from the rest|of the world for years without news.

So we relied on the little things:

A dark joke.

A sunny day.

A hopeful rumour.

That's why we'd go|and sit by the ghetto wall...

...and look at the tree|where I first kissed Hannah.

And it was by that wall|that it all started.

With a single sheet of newspaper.

No! It's too dangerous!

Where can she go?

Run, liebele. Run!

Be safe. Go, go, go!


We'II see you soon!|We Iove you, Lina!


What are you doing there?|Trying to escape from the ghetto?


Jakob Heym.

Don't you know it's punishabIe|by death for a Jew...

...to be in the streets after curfew?

You're right.|Of course you're right.

One hundred percent correct.

I don't think|the siren went off yet.

A smart Jew! Go over there!

Present yourseIf|to the officer on duty...

...and teII him|you were out after 8!

But it's not 8.

Are you arguing?


This is the radio of|the German Armed Forces Network.

HeiI, HitIer!

We will now broadcast|a special bulletin.

During a hard-fought|defensive battle...

...heroic troops of the Fatherland,|under General von Hartung...

...succeeded in driving back|the Russian forces near Bezanika.

Bezanika is a very strategic point|of this sector.

We will now broadcast a message|from our Fhrer.


The Russians are there,|onIy 400 kiIometres away.

My God!|They're in PoIand.

What are you doing here?

The sentry sent me to Your RoyaIness|for my proper punishment.

AIthough I hadn't heard the siren,|and with due respect...

...if his watch is right,|then your cIock is wrong.

But that is for you to decide.



My appropriate punishment.

Even though, I take the Iiberty|of repeating myseIf:

It's not yet quite 8:00.

It stiII isn't 8:00.|It's onIy three minutes to 8.

Two minutes to 8.

Then the gentIeman, the sentry,|was just making fun of me.

Just because there's a war...

...peopIe shouIdn't stop joking|with one another.

May I?

We Jews are partiaI to jokes too.

Do you Iive far from here?

Ten minutes, if I run.

Then hurry.

PIease may I have a pass?

Now what do I do, Hannah?|I'm Iocked outside.

Gotta keep going.

It's crazy, Hannah.

I may be the onIy Jew|for 400 kiIometres...

...trying to get|back into the ghetto.

To get across that distance,|you have to be a mouse.

Oh, God of the Jews!

Why didn't you make your peopIe|a race of mice?

I ask you quite frankIy:|What good does it do to be a man?

I'm going.

I go.

Not yet!

Wait for the searchIight to go by.

-Who are you?|-Lina Kronstein.

I'm 10 1I2. How oId are you?

Watch out!

What are you doing here, anyway?|Trying to escape?

Where? A Jew wouId not Iast|five minutes out there.

So you're going back in?


May I come with you?

With me?

Why me?

Who eIse?

AII right.

Come on.

Oh, wait! Wait!

You're scared?

No. Terrified.

Come on! This way!

-Here.|-Thank you, IittIe mouse.

Hide! PoIice!


Bye-bye, IittIe girI.

Thanks for saving my Iife.

You'II have to excuse me.

I'm very tired. I'm going home.|You shouId do the same.

Maybe I'II take the tram.


AII right.

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Peter Kassovitz

Peter Kassovitz (born 17 November 1938) is a French film director and scriptwriter. more…

All Peter Kassovitz scripts | Peter Kassovitz Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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