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Death & The Maiden is a multi-award-winning short documentary that premiered internationally on DOC NYC 2014 and screened in over 20 film festivals worldwide including Doc-Aviv and Dok-Fest Munich.

The film is a German/Israeli Co-production, produced by dffb and The Steve Tisch School of Film and Television at TAU.

Aired on RBB, Germany.


Shortly after World War II, over 1000 paintings were found in a cellar in southern France. The paintings were created by a young Jewish artist called Charlotte Salomon. She painted her extraordinary life story in a unique creation named 'Life? Or Theater?'

Death & The Maiden unravels the story behind her creation. 

Technical Details

Shot in 2012-3 in Germany

Genre: Documentary

Running Time: 29'

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 
Screening Format: 2K DCP, mov, mp4 (HD)
Sound: 5.1 Dolby or Stereo
Language: English, Hebrew / German
Subtitles: English, German, French, Hebrew

Distributed by Go2Films

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Director, Writer & Producer: Yaël Lotem

Cinematography: Nicola Alice Hens 

Production Manager: Xenia Brauer

Editor: Maya Klar

Sound Recordists: Pablo Arcuschin

Sound Designer: Gilad Leshem

Cast: Rama Friedlander, Maya Klar Jonathan Miller, Amos Geva, Sari Alfi

Director's Statment

When I read Life? Or Theater? I was immediately drawn into a human life that began and ended far away, but in which nothing was strange to me. After reading her book I visited Berlin. I could not help myself from viewing the city as her own; reflecting on it through Charlotte Salomon’s eyes. That is the point of view I wish to create in my film; a joint point of view of mine and hers, Two Young, Jewish, creative women in Berlin.

Death and the Maiden is a private journey into the heart of Charlotte Salomon, a sensitive and gifted young woman who lived in one of the darkest times in history. What makes her life a true symbol is something more than its universality, for in her pictures and words is something universally human: a lonely, painful and sincere struggle to hold on to life and embrace it with love.


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