Love, It Was Not

Ahava, zot lo hayta

  • Maya Sarfaty
  • Israel, Austria
  • 2020
  • 83 min
  • International Premiere
  • Luminous

In 1942, Helena Citron was among the first thousand Jewish women to be transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. There, she soon caught the eye of the Austrian SS officer Franz Wunsch, who fell madly in love with her. Wunsch protected her wherever possible and saved her sister Roza from the jaws of hell, but as an SS officer, there was also a very different side to him. Thirty years after the Second World War, Citron—now living in Israel—is called as a witness at Wunsch’s trial. There, the impossible is asked of her.

The testimonies of now very elderly Auschwitz survivors, older interviews with Citron and her sister, and also with Wunsch, reveal an extraordinary history. A mixture of diary excerpts, archive footage, and animated collage add an extra visual layer to this complex story in shades of gray. A dark chapter of European history is thus reconstructed from varying perspectives, exploring themes such as the survival instinct, the nature of humanity, and coming to terms with trauma.


  • 83 min
  • color / black and white
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Hebrew, German, English
  • Subtitles in: English
Maya Sarfaty
Nir Sa'ar for Pagoda Productions, Kurt Langbein for Langbein & Partner Media GmbH & Co KG
Itay Gross, Ziv Berkovich, Christian Roth
Ayelet Albenda, Shlomit Gopher
Sharon Yaish

IDFA history

International Premiere

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IDFA history

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