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My Sister Tikva

Directed by: Vered Berman
53 Minutes, 2009

Even though 55 years have passed since Professor Yair Tauman was suddenly estranged from his beloved sister Tikva, who was sent away to begin a new life abroad, his wounds haven’t healed.

Each day of her life, Tikva Jeral, now a retired social worker living in the suburbs of Baltimore, USA, tries to overcome the traumas she sustained as a child when she was torn away from her family and forced to move from Israel to the United States.

The admission that Yair was not her brother, was told to her on the same day that she left for America. On that day she was once again being compelled to build a new identity, for the fourth time in her young life.

“My Sister, Tikva” is a documentary film about the twists and turns that shuffled a young child from identity to identity until only her Hebrew name – Tikva (Hope) – was all there was left to attest to who she was.

Tikva and Yair undergo a journey together to try to unravel the mystery of their lives. Yair accompanies Tikva through an emotional reunion with Adomas Gecevicius, who had been her father and savior in Kovno in 1943. Is it possible after all these years to heal the pain and reconcile the emotional past?

The film, which was shot in America, Lithuania and Israel, shifts between Tikva’s life with her family in America and her Lithuanian and Israeli past. It follows and reenacts her life through documentation, letters and photographs which come together to present this emotional and hopeful story.


Director: Vered Berman

Producer: Edna Nahum

Producer: Dina Kahanovitz

Cinematographer: Dani Barnea

Editor: Marina Shmoron

Writer: Vered Berman

Original music: Vered Berman