Tag Archives: the Shoshani Riddle

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.”

“פרופ’ שלום רוזנברג: “מי שלא יגיד על שושני שזה מיתוס, לא הבין אותו

“שושני מתערב בהקלטה, זה שושני טהור!”
כך אמר פרופ’ שלום רוזנברג ז.ל. בראיון לסרט “חידת שושני” מאת מיכאל גרינשפן ב-2013.
מי שעוד לא צפה בסרט, מוזמן לבוא לסינמטק תל אביב, הוסיפו עוד הרבה הקרנות…

New Screenings of The Shoshani Riddle in Tel Aviv and in Raanana

Tel Aviv’s screenings: https://www.cinema.co.il/event/%d7%97%d7%99%d7%93%d7%aa-%d7%a9%d7%95%d7%a9%d7%a0%d7%99/

In order to get tickets for Raanana’s screening: https://ticket.lev.co.il/order/541868

WhatsApp Image 2024-04-11 at 09.57.07

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”.

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

Our movie about Mr. Shoshani / Monsieur Chouchani / מר שושני

חידת שושני - הנווד שידע הכול

סרטו של מיכאל גרינשפן

The Shoshani Riddle - the wanderer who knew it all
Dear friends in the world, I am thrilled to announce: here is my new movie! “THE SHOSHANI RIDDLE – the wanderer who knew it all” will finally be released and premiered at the Haifa International Film Festival!
10 years in the making!! extensive research all over the world, filming hundreds of testimonies, including unique secrets and discoveries about this so special character who was the mysterious mentor of Elie Wiesel and many others.
A wanderer, a genius, a legend…
It was an amazing journey and I hope you will enjoy this movie as much as I did in the making of it, during this exhausting but exciting journey. To my eyes, this is more than a film, this is a quest of meaning in life. I hope that all the messages conveyed in this film on “Monsieur Chouchani”, it’s world views, stories, ideas and emotions will have an impact. Thank you all for your support and patience.
Thank you also to the wonderful artists who worked with me on it.
“The Shoshani Riddle” will also be broadcasted on Israeli TV Kan11 and elsewhere. More will follow soon.
Michael Grynszpan


The Wanderer Who Knew It All

A film by Michael Grynszpan

 If you want to contact us, please send an email to contactfilm AT chouchani.com

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