‘Mokum Aleph’ combines the two faces of a world that has disappeared but remains a living mental image for the ones that have been curious enough to look it up. The Amsterdam Ghetto, or the ‘womb of Jewry’, was a remarkable and spectacular place for its authenticity. Even though it's presented as a time travel experience, it points out the both the good and the bad parts in order to make us understand it better, and have a clear image of how it was like before the inevitable downfall.
Berenike Rozgonyi’s documentary comes with a story that really got us hooked up from the first minute. One thing that we really enjoyed about this short documentary was the narrative perspective – the city has a story that you can definitely enjoy. It speaks to the viewer in a normal and natural way, showing what happened before, how it happened, and what repercussions were there, nevertheless putting together an insightful story that shows not only how time affected history, but also how history affected time.
The score is amazingly soothing, creating a general state of calm and peaceful introspection. Speaking of musicality, the narrative part felt extremely musical and poetic, giving a genuine tone to this documentary. We felt the narrative from the first part of the short as being an ode addressed to Amsterdam, just as the poets from different generations did to honor the places that marked their art. We quote: ‘People. My citizens. All sorts of people. Joy and sorrow. All sorts of joy and sorrow’ – the profound imagery of an old city covered in a retro classy atmosphere, embroidered with this part of a poem (we cited just a few lines), creates a postcard over generations that is at the same time a historic and artistic must for all the refined enthusiasts.
Written by Vlad A. G