Documentary Film "My Herzl"
Friday 4-1-2013 I sat with hundreds of other spectators at the Jerusalem Cinematheque and watched a preview screening of the documentary film "My Herzl" directed by Eli Tal El. David Matlaw, who envisioned and initiated the film, also attended. He has a collection of about four thousand items on Herzl.
The power of "My Herzl" is in what it is not - it is not a dry academic documentary, it has no snobbery of the knower, yet it is rich in information even for those who investigate Herzl thoroughly, mainly because of the unique items from the collection of David Matlaw, presented in the film by the collector himself. Film Director Eli Tal El shows the viewers his own journey to get closer to Herzl. Like any graduate of the Israeli education system he starts with a superficial acquaintance with Herzl, visits places that tourists go to "in the footsteps of Herzl", sees a show that deals with Herzl, and attends an academic lecture on Herzl. During the film one may get the impression that there is now a yearning of many people to know Herzl.
The image of the collector, David Matlaw, is fascinating: he has something of the obsession and enthusiasm of Herzl, along with a sense of humor; as Herzl he spends his time and money to promote the subject that interests him, a subject that should interest every Jew, because Herzl is an icon and a brand, and because each Jew today, including those who live still out of Israel, would have been in a completely different situation without Herzl's dedication to solving the problem of shelter for the Jews.