The Book Of Curses

In 2005, a diary was uncovered from deep within the Warsaw Jewish Archives. It was a short diary, written on 12 pieces of card, by Benjamin Berkovitch from inside the Novogrudok ghetto between the first big massacre and the second big massacre that reduced the large Jewish community to only 500. The producer's father, Jack Kagan, was one of them. The diary describes, in high Hebrew, the slow, torturous descent to hell as the 'refined' German spirit unleashed the worst savagery against an innocent population. Who was he? Where did he come from? And what was his end? The co-producers, a Jew and a non-Jew, spent 2 years searching for any trace of this sardonic witness whose writings were saved by a non-Jewish lawyer. In particular, the film focuses on the final words of his testimony “do not compile lamentations about our destruction, only a book of curses, and more to the point, one huge and firm curse to all humanity and culture.”

Director: Louri Gourelev

Producer: Michael Kagan, Tamara Vershitskaya



Duration: 65 min.
Date of Release: July 2020
Country of Production: Israel/Belarus

Shooting Format: HD
Language: Hebrew, English, Russian
Subtitles: Hebrew, English, Russian, Polish

Festivals & Awards

  • Spotlight Documentary Award

  • IndieFest 2020

  • Depth of Field Film Fest

  • Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival

  • Miami Jewish Film Festival

  • Gold Star Awards

  • Accolade Global Film

  • World Film Carnival Singapore

  • DRUK Film Festival


Drama Documentary, History, Jewish Topics, Personal Stories