Director: Katharina Waisburd

Category: Politics, Human Interest, Middle-East, Society

Production: Anna Martensen:TM Film, for SWR (Commissioning Editor: Dr. Gudrun Hanke-El Ghomri) / Germany 2016 Advisory Producer: Vadim Jendreyko, Producer Filmacademy: Denise Neustadt;
Associate Producer: Hercli Bundi: Mira Film GmbH, Zurich, Switzerland

Language: Hebrew, Arabic, English.

Subtitles: German/English

Length: 60 minutes.

In Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo Israelis and Palestinians work hand in hand. This would be considered as normality in many places around the world, but here it happens in an environment, which is constantly shaken by violence and war. Even though coming from the same city, people’s living realities seem to be far away from each other and are marked by deep cuts in society. In the microcosm of the zoo among animals and on green refreshing grounds their cooperation seems to be easy. Holy Zoo discovers an extraordinary place in the heart of the Middle East Conflict and dares to revive questions about freedom and hope in a desperate situation.

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Festivals & Awards:

Movie Reviews:

« Katharina Waisburd offers a new, original look at the subject matter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She thoroughly illustrates the relations of the Jewish and the Muslim employees of the zoo in Jerusalem – full of friendship, though not devoid of tensions. » Focus on Germany / Krakow Film Festival

« Holy Zoo, directed by Katharina Waisburd, will close the festival with a note of optimism and hope for the future »
Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival 2016 / Ayelet Dekel / Midnight East 

« The closing event of the festival will be a screening of Katharina Waisburd’s Holy Zoo, a documentary about the extraordinary behind-the-scenes story of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. »
It’s time for the Jewish Film Festival / Hannah Brown / Jerusalem Post 

« With Holy Zoo, the festival ends with a vibrant message of hope, despite the tensions surrounding this city and its residents from all sides. »
Jewish identity on film / Peggy Cidor / Jerusalem Post 

« An unusual prism through which to view Israel, Jerusalem and the fight for coexistence is “Holy Zoo,” a documentary about the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and the Arab-Jewish activities that take place there on a regular basis. »
‘Denial,’ acceptance, and other Jewish matters in the movies / Jessica Steinberg / The Times of Israel 

« "Holy Zoo": This interesting fly-on-the-wall documentary, receiving a world premiere, drops us into the going-ons at the Biblical Zoo, a Jerusalem attraction where school kids from different faiths visit a tranquil environment and at which Israeli and Palestinian employees work side by side. Director Katharina Waisburd understands the advantages of showing not telling, and her appreciation of broader implications results in a quiet film that says more than words often do. » SF Jewish Film Fest: Here are movies you shouldn't miss / Randy Myers / The Mercury News