Gold Coast International Film Festival presents part biker flick, part documentary ‘Back to Berlin’

The Island Now
Motorcyclists' epic 2015 journey from Tel Aviv to the site of Hitler’s infamous 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

The Gold Coast International Film Festival is pleased to present the highly acclaimed 2018 documentary Back to Berlin, which chronicles the epic 2015 journey from Tel Aviv to the site of Hitler’s infamous 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

The screening will be on Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at the Great Neck Squire Cinemas, 115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, NY 11021. Tickets cost $15, or $10 for students and can be ordered online at, or can be purchased at the door, subject to availability.

Back to Berlin cameras followed the motorcyclists along their moving and inspirational journey as they crossed nine European countries, covering 4,500 kilometers (2,796 miles) over twenty-four days. En route, each country held a chilling resonance for the group which included Holocaust survivors, descendants of survivors and the grandson of a 1930’s Maccabiah Rider.

In 2015, the European Maccabi Games (aka the Jewish Olympics) were held at the site of Hitler’s infamous 1936 Berlin Olympics for the first time since WWII. Part biker-flick, part Holocaust documentary, Back to Berlin follows 11 Israeli motor-bikers carrying the Maccabi torch from Tel Aviv to Berlin, retracing the tracks of the original 1930s Maccabiah riders who traveled to all corners of Europe to seek out athletes to compete in the first Maccabiah Games.

Upon conclusion of the screening of Back to Berlin, there will be a Q&A session with the film’s director, Catherine Lurie-Alt, a London-based journalist, director, and producer, who has written, produced, and directed eight television human interest stories, including the 2013 Maccabiah Games for the Los Angeles-based Jewish Life Television (JLTV).

“In 2012, I was asked to be a broadcaster for the Maccabi 2013 Games in Israel by the LA-based TV station, JLTV,” says Lurie-Alt. “I came across the fascinating stories of the three heroic missions of the 1930’s Jewish motorcyclists. It was the words of Yair Hamburger, Maccabi World Union͛s (MWU) Chairman, ‘Maccabi saved my family from the nails of the Nazis,’ that would resonate and later lead me into filmmaking. When hearing that Germany would host the Maccabi European Games in July 2015, the title Back to Berlin came to me for everything it symbolizes.”

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