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The Pageant

  • Turkey, France, Israel, Germany
  • Documentary
  • 2020
  • 83 min.
  • Director(s): Eytan İpeker
  • Producer(s): Yoel Meranda (Kamara - Turkey)


Every year since 2011, a unique beauty contest takes place in Haifa. The contestants are female survivors of the Holocaust. In order to become “Miss Holocaust Survivor”, they train with an ex-beauty queen who teach them how to catwalk on the red carpet. At the climatic moment of the night, the survivors have to impress a jury with their life stories and their traumatic memories. This surreal event is sponsored by a right-wing Evangelical organization. Focusing on the story of Sophie Leibowitz who participates to honor her recently deceased sister, “The Pageant” explores how memory, politics and spectacle are interconnected.

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Eytan İpeker


Yoel Meranda (Kamara - Turkey)


Carine Chichkowsky (Survivance - France), Eitan Mansuri and Jonathan Doweck (Spiro Films - Israel), Kristina Konrad (Welt Film - Germany)


Itay Marom


Eytan İpeker

Original Language

English, Hebrew, Russian


English, French, Hebrew, Turkish

Sound Designer

Emmanuel Soland

Festival Highlights

Visions du Réel - World Premiere, France, International Feature Film Competition, 2020

Sarajevo Film Festival, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Documentary Competition, 2020

Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 2020

Odessa International Film Festival, Ukraine, European Documentary Competition, 2020

Istanbul Film Festival, Turkey, National Documentary Competition, 2020

Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Turkey, National Documentary Competition, 2020

Human Rights Film Festival Lugano, Switzerland , 2020

Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote, Lanzarote, 2020

İstanbul Modern Cinema, Turkey, 2020


  • "The film accuses without a word, in a very efficient and intelligent way, the radical strangeness, not to say the sweet obscenity, of its subject."
    - Le Monde (Jacques Mandelbaum)
  • "offers a complex and nuanced look at the annual Miss Holocaust Survivor event."
    - Cineuropa (twitter)
  • "The Pageant (...) is able to use its feature-length to raise more of the troubling psychological aspects of the event, in a non-conclusive, humbly observational manner that never presumes to condemn the choices of its subjects. "
    - Modern Times Review (Carmen Gray)
  • "an eye for detail, especially uncomfortable ones"
    - Cineuropa's review (Marta Bałaga)
  • "the movie’s lack of final ethical conclusion, in a situation where no definitive or even partial judgment seems possible, is what lingers."
    - Filmmakers Magazine (Vadim Rizov)
  • "profoundly ironic editing work"
    - Ubiquarian (Bénédicte Prot)
  • "Ipeker deliberately creates associations that make you shiver"
    - (Anne Küper)
  • "Listed as one of the "Best Films of 2020" by Michael Sicinski"