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The Shoshani Riddle has become a cult movie (The Jerusalem Post)

Article in the Jerusalem Post:

The Article

Documentary ‘The Shoshani Riddle’ takes KAN 11

The Shoshani Riddle has become a cult movie as it has screened at cinematheques around Israel for several months, with audiences staying to hear more about Shoshani at enthusiastic Q&A sessions.

 FILMMAKER MICHAEL GRYNSZPAN with Elie Wiesel. (photo credit: Danna Kinksy/The Shoshani Riddle)
(photo credit: Danna Kinksy/The Shoshani Riddle)
Mr. Shoshani, the subject of Michael Grynszpan’s documentary, The Shoshani Riddle, which will be shown after the news on KAN 11 on May 4, was the most inspiring teacher his students had ever met. He taught sacred Jewish texts at a higher level than they had ever experienced before, and gained a devoted following that included Nobel Prize laureates and philosophers.

But Mr. Shoshani was also disheveled, traveling the world in the tattered clothes of a homeless man.

He was known as Shoshani in some places, and by different names at other times and in other places.

Mr. Shoshani was a Holocaust survivor. Or was he? Some claimed Mr. Shoshani was a Moroccan-born expert on the Quran.

Mr. Shoshani lived on several continents and left behind a wealth of writing, but no one knew where. Or maybe he didn’t.

NOBLE LAUREATE Elie Wiesel speaks at the United Nations in 2006. (credit: CHIP EAST / REUTERS)Enlrage image
NOBLE LAUREATE Elie Wiesel speaks at the United Nations in 2006. (credit: CHIP EAST / REUTERS)

One thing is clear: These contradictory reports motivated Grynszpan, a French-born documentary filmmaker in Tel Aviv, to devote more than a decade to uncovering the truth about him, which culminated in him making The Shoshani Riddle.

“I heard of him as a young man in France,” said Grynszpan. But what really convinced him to make a documentary about Shoshani was a meeting with a kibbutznik years later, who told the filmmaker how this teacher had changed his life. “He said, ‘There was no one like him,’ and I saw the light in his eyes and I knew I had to make the movie.”

While, of course, there are excellent teachers all over, “There is a difference between someone just learning piano and the greatest piano player in the world. He was teaching Torah and the Gemara all over, and sometimes also mathematics and philosophy. And everyone said they had never met anyone who was such a genius.”

Elie Wiesel in France

Among those whose lives he touched were French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, who studied with Shoshani in France after the Holocaust. The Shoshani Riddle includes an interview with Wiesel, who reminisces eloquently about his former teacher, in a meeting that the documentary filmmaker spent more than two years trying to arrange.

The staff for Wiesel, who passed away in 2016, would not schedule an interview with Grynszpan, but the director managed to speak to Wiesel at an event, telling him he wanted to hear more about Shoshani, and Wiesel quickly made time to talk about the teacher to whom he felt he owed so much.

As the director traveled the world to learn more about this enigma, even visiting Uruguay where Shoshani was buried, he began to focus more on finding Shoshani’s writings, which he was not sure at first even existed. His quest to locate the writings and then to figure out what they mean is one of the most fascinating parts of the film. “The truth is that I cried when I found the notebooks,” he admits. While some of these writings were stolen and others were auctioned off, most are now at the National Library of Israel, where scholars are writing dissertations on them. Much of these writings combine analysis of Jewish texts with mathematics, philosophy, and science.

“Studying his notebooks, most of the time we don’t understand what he means, and it’s a good feeling, because there is so much to learn there.”

The Shoshani Riddle has become a cult movie as it has screened at cinematheques around Israel for several months, with audiences staying to hear more about Shoshani at enthusiastic Q&A sessions.

“I get so many messages from people who say, ‘This film changed my life.’” Following the KAN 11 screening on Saturday, which was already postponed once due to breaking news, Grynszpan hopes to bring the movie to film festivals around the world.

“He was the archetype of the Wandering Jew,” said Grynszpan. “The fact that he kept his identity a secret, that no one knows who he really was, it shows that those facts are not so important… He leaves us with more questions than answers and we understand that he had so much to teach us.”

The Shoshani Riddle at the Tel Aviv cinematheque for Passover

What are you doing for Pessah in Israel?
There are more screenings of “The Shoshani Riddle” (חידת שושני) at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque!! Don’t miss this movie about Mr. Shoshani, the Wanderer who Knew it All. It won the Award for best documentary of the year by the academy of films critics in Israel.
Wednesday the 24.04 at 16:30
Thursday the 25.04 at 21:00
Friday the 26.04 at 11:00
Saturday the 27.04 at 21:15
Sunday the 28.04 at 14:00
Monday the 29.04 at 21:30
Tuesday the 30.04 at 16:00
Subtitles in Hebrew and in English. Pass it on!
מה תוכניתכם לחול המועד פסח?
הוסיפו עוד הקרנות של הסרט חידת שושני! כל יום בסינמטק תל אביב. הסרט ממשיך לעשות גלים. קהל רב ומגוון בא לראות את הסרט ומיד מזמין את החברים ואת המשפחה לצפות בו.
תלחצו על הלינק כדי לראות איזה תאריך מתאים לכם.
Mic speaks after the screening The Shoshani Riddle cinematheque TLV - Shoshani

הגאון המיסתורי: סרט חדש מציע פיצוח אחר ל”חידת שושני” – מאמר במקור ראשון

מאמר וראיון של הבמאי מיכאל גרינפן על הסרט “חידת שושני” מאת העיתונאי הבכיר יאיר שלג במקור ראשון. זהירות: ספויילר! אל תדאגו, מה שמופיע בסרט זה רק אחוז אחד מכל מה שמצאתי בתחקיר. יהיו עוד תגליות והפתעות בהמשך.
כבר עכשיו בזכות הסרט הזה, יותר ויותר מדברים וכותבים על מר שושני, איזה כייף. הסרט ישודר (אם מר שושני לא יתערב שוב ויקלקל לנו את השמחה) בכאן11 במוצ”ש ה-20 האפריל, לאחר החדשות.
article The Shoshani Riddle in Makor Rishon

הקרנות חדשות של הסרט “חידת שושני” בסינמטק תל אביבת

סרטנו “חידת שושני” יוקרן כמה פעמים בסינמטק תל אביב (היו כבר כמה הקרנות מלאות, הקהל מבקש לראות)
ב-27 בפברואר
ב-2 במרץ
ב-7 במרץ
ב-9 במרץ
וב-10 במרץ
הסרט בעברית עם כתוביות בעברית ובאנגלית
אל תפספסו, הכרטיסים אזלו מהר ברגע שהודיעו על הקרנות בחיפה ובירושלים.
מאמר של מבקר הקולנוע ארז דבורה בידיעות אחרונות: “התעלומה שתשמוט לכם את הלסת: סרט הדוקו שכבש את פסטיבל חיפה”
כרטיסים כאן:
Our movie “The Shoshani Riddle” will be screened again at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque (it was always full for the last screenings)
on February 27th, March 2, March 7, March 9 and March 10.
Subtitles in Hebrew and English. Don’t miss it, it was sold out as soon as we announced it in Jerusalem and Haifa. Quote from Ynet, the leading Israeli newspaper: “The mystery that will blow your mind: the documentary film that conquered Haifa Film Festival”.

The Shoshani Riddle won Best Documentary Award of 2023 by the organization of Israeli Films critics!

Excellent news!  And very flattering! Our movie “The Shoshani Riddle” won Israeli Critics Association Award for Best Documentary in 2023. Thank you!

בשורות טובות! הסרט שלנו “חידת שושני” זכה בפרס הסרט התיעודי הטוב בשנת 2023

על ידי פורום מבקרי ומבקרות הקולנוע בישראלimage_2024-01-02_204037845

כבוד לנו, תודה


The Shoshani Riddle - best Israeli documentary


Pictures from the screening at the Jerusalem Cinematheque

So many good vibes! It was the second ever screening of “The Shoshani Riddle” (חידת שושני), first at Haifa and this time at the Jerusalem Cinematheque, December the 14th. It was sold out.

The audience was enthusiastic, we received a lot of super positive feedbacks, and many asked where and when the movie will be screened again.
It was followed by a panel with rabbi Oury Cherki, prof. Hanoch Ben-Pazi and Hodaya Har-shefi Samet, who gave interesting perspectives on Mister Shoshani.
Thank you also to the film editor Roi Ben-Ami and the animator David Walz who also attended it.
See you at the next screenings.

11 7 4

Screening in Jerusalem

Even in difficult times, life must go on.
Who wants to watch our movie “The Shoshani Riddle”?image_2023-11-30_125117442
It will happen soon in Jerusalem at the cinematheque. December the14th at 20.00.
See you there.

Amazing critics in the Israeli Press about “The Shoshani Riddle”

Here is an amazing article about “The Shoshani Riddle” in Ynet, the leading Israeli newspaper: “The mystery that will blow your mind: the documentary film that conquered Haifa Film Festival”


YNET-ביקורת מעולה על הסרט “חידת שושני” ב

article Ynet



חידת שושני – הנווד שידע הכול



הסרט “חידת שושני” – הנווד שידע הכול – ישתתף בפסטיבל הסרטים הבינלאומי חיפה בעוד כמה ימים. התחלתי לעבוד על הסרט לפני ייותר מ-10 שנים. כן, 10 שנים. ראיינתי מאות עדים, נסעתי לכל העולם בעקבותיו וגיליתי המון סודות על האיש המסתורי והגאוני שהיה מר שושני. אבל הסרט היה תקוע במשך שנים בגלל סיבות בירוקרטיות אבסורדיות. היו חברים שהסבירו לי שמר שושני התערב בהפקה כדי שהסרט הזה לא ייצא…

 מי יודע. בכל אופן עכשיו הוא כנראה השתחרר ויוקרן גם בפסטיבלים וגם בכאן11. אין צורך להרחיב עד כמה הסרט הזה חשוב לדעתי: הוא יותר מסרט, הוא מעמיד שאלות מרכזיות ומפתיעות על עצמנו ועל החיים.
אני רוצה להודות לאמנים המוכשרים והמדהמים שעבדו איתי על הסרט המשוגע הזה:
רועי בן עמי העורך,
פיליפ בלאיש הצלם,
דוד וולץ האנימטור,
נועה הבר המעצבת,
אנדריי קוזלוב האפטריסט,
נדב שלמה גלעדי המפיק,
הקטור ברבי הקולוריסט,
דניאל מרקוביץ’ המלחין
ומיכאל גורביץ’ המעצב סאונד.
תודה לכם ולכל מי שעזר או עבד על הפרוייקט בדרך. ושתהיה שנה טובה לכולם

מיכאל גרינשפן

50 years after Prof Chouchani passed away – Hazkara ceremony in Uruguay

Exactly 50 years after prof. Shoshani (Chouchani) passed away. On Sunday the 15th of January 2018, the Jewish community in Uruguay held a ceremony (Hazkara or Yortzeit) at the Jewish cemetery of La Paz (north to Montevideo) where prof Shoshani’s grave stands.

Here is an article about this ceremony that took place in the rain, in the national newspaper of Uruguay El Pais. They also mention the participation of filmmaker Michael Grynszpan who travelled from Israel to Uruguay to attend the event.

“La lluvia no detuvo homenaje de la comunidad israelita
Recuerdan al sabio Shoshani, inspirador de figuras mundiales.”


cimetiere - image El Pais 14 01 2018

(photo: Diego Moraes)