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Operation Wedding


Leningrad, 1970. A group of young Jewish dissidents plots to hijack an empty plane and escape the USSR. 45 years later, filmmaker Anat Zalmanson-Kuznetsov, reveals
the compelling story of her parents, leaders of the group, "heroes" in the West but "terrorists" in Russia, even today.
It started as a fantasy, Operation Wedding, as outrageous as it was simple: Under the disguise of a trip to a local family wedding, the hijackers would buy every ticket on a small 12-seater plane, so there would be no passengers but them, no innocents in harm’s way. The group’s pilot, who once flew for the Red Army, would take over the controls and fly the 16 runaways into the sky, over the Soviet border, on to Sweden, bound for Israel. They were caught in the airport, a few steps from boarding the plane, and tried for high treason. Among those arrested remained one woman to be on trial: Sylva Zalmanson, who receives 10 years in Gulag. Sylva's newlywed husband Edward Kuznetsov, receives death sentence.
While the Soviet press writes "the criminals received their punishment", tens of thousands of people in the free world demand "Let My People Go!"
As the Iron Curtain opens a crack for 300,000 Soviets Jews wanting to flee, the group members are held back to pay the price of freedom for everyone else.
"Your parents are heroes," Anat had been told ever since she was a child. Every year at school, she was asked to stand up in class and share their story.
Nevertheless, the saga of the family was gradually forgotten. At age 29, Anat decided to do what she had been asked since the first grade. She would tell her parents’ story
to the world. Anat travels with her mother Sylva, to retrace the group's journey from the day of the arrest at the small Soviet airport to KGB prison where 25 year-old Sylva was kept
before the trial. Anat's research grows for years and she finds rare archives and interview former key members of KGB trying to understand their point of view.
Through a collage of interviews, discussions over vodka and cigarette smoke, rare archives and reenactment made both in Israel 1980 and in Russia 2010, Anat revels
for the first time the full story of her parents and a group of civilians that changed history and cracked the Iron Curtain.


English subtitle: 
Information for the Audience: 

Directors: Anat Zalmanson Kuznetsov Writers: Anat Zalmanson Kuznetsov Producers: Sasha Klein, Guntis Trekteris, Simone Baumann 


Screenings / Awards: 

Award of Recognition - Hollywood Documentary Awards (No public screening)

Premiere (Tel Aviv, July 2016)

Israel channel 1 broadcasts, Hebrew version (AUG 2016)

Copeo, Women in Local documentary films (Tel Aviv, SEP 2016)

AreDocFest (Moscow, DEC 2016)

Israel Film Festival: Women Directors (Tel Aviv, DEC 2916)

UK Jewish Film (London, DEC 2016)

JCC Washington (DEC 2016)

San Diego Jewish Film Festival (February 2017)

Maine Jewish Film Festivla (February 2017)

Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia (March 2017)

Toronto Jewish Film Festival (May 2017)

Washington Jewish Film Festival (May 2017)

London World Ineternational Film Festival (December 2017)

Information for theatres: 

Student project: No Completion date: 2016-15-07 Shooting format: Digital Aspect ratio: 16:9 Film color: Color First-time filmmaker: Yes

Directed by: 
Anat Zalmanson Kuznetsov
Writing credits: 
Anat Zalmanson Kunzetsov
Sylva Zalmanson Edward Kuznetsov Oleg Kalugin Philipp Bobkov
Produced by: 
Sasha Klein Guntis Trektaris Anat Zalmanson Kuznetsov
Music by: 
Kalris Auzens Didi Erez
Film Editing by: 
Bracha Zisman Cohen
Release Date: 
Friday, July 29, 2016
Official website:
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