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Black Honey, The Life and Poetry of Avraham Sutzkever

  • Israel
  • Documentary
  • 2018
  • 76 min.
  • Director(s): Uri Barbash
  • Producer(s): Yair Qedar


As long as Abraham Sutzkever lived, he wouldn’t let a film about his life be made. Today, eight years after his passing, Black Honey tells the incredible story of the greatest Yiddish poet of modern times. The man who led the Paper Brigade underground movement that saved Jewish manuscripts from the Nazis, survived the WWII due to Stalin sending him a private rescue plane, testified in the Nuremberg Trials, and immigrated to Israel in 1947 where he led Yiddish culture, while writing in astonishing vitality.

This film is part of a special project, The Hebrews, dedicated to Jewish poets.
The project won a Special Mention Award at the Haifa International Film Festival “Between Israeli and Jewish Identity Competition Section”, 2018

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Uri Barbash


Yair Qedar


Itay Barkan, Hadas Kalderon


Uri Barbash, Hadas Kalderon


Talia Tulik Galon


Ori Derdikman

Original Music

Alon Lotringer

Original Language

Hebrew, English, Yiddish


English, Hebrew, French, Russian, German

Sound Design

Ami Arad

Supported by

Makor Foundation, Israel Film Service, Avi Chai Foundation, Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, Cultural Administration, Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport, The Claims Committee, The GoodWill Foundation, Beit Shalom Aleichem

Photos Courtesy of

Yair Qedar, Itay Barkan

Festival Highlights

  • Winner

    Special Award
    Warsaw Jewish Film Festival
  • Winner

    Yad VaShem Chairman's Award for Artistic Achievement in Holocaust related film
    Jerusalem International Film Festival
  • Winner*

    Special Mention Award at the Haifa International Film Festival "Between Israeli and Jewish Identity Competition
    Haifa International Film Festival
  • Winner

    Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary
    LA Israeli Film Festival

Jewish Motifs International Film Festival, Poland, 2019

IMAJ - Israeli Film Festival, Belgium, 2019

Lund University, Sweden, 2019

Washington Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2019

Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Canada, 2019

Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture, Germany, 2019

Filmpalette Köln, Germany, 2019

LA Israeli Film Festival, USA, 2018

Cottbus International Film Festival, Germany, 2018

Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 2018


  • "A unique artistically and historically valuable project, that preserves wonderfully, through documentary films, pearls of poetry and literature, which some of them, regrettably, are vanishing "
    - Jury, Haifa International Film Festival, 2018