Genre: Mystery, History, Documentary, News | Duration: 85 min. | MPAA: N7 | 2016 | Countries: Poland, Ukraine, Sweden | Subtitles Lithuanian
Every year, some 30,000 Hasidic Orthodox Jews travel from over 70 countries to the Ukrainian city of Uman, to celebrate the New Year by the grave of their leader Rebbe Nachman. But Nachman isn’t the only revered historical figure in this post-communist place. One of the locals’ biggest heroes is Ivan Gonta, an 18th-century rebel leader who the Ukrainians believe freed their country, but slaughtered tens of thousands of Jews and Poles in his bloody revolt. “The Dybbuk: A Tale of Wandering Souls” was shot in 2013 just before President Yanukovych was overthrown following demonstrations in Kiev. It depicts the mounting tension between the local population and the flocks of visitors to Uman. Filmmaker Krzysztof Kopczyński follows the pilgrimage 60 miles outside Uman, where Rebbe Nachman worked in the 19th century. Nowadays, an elderly Ukrainian named Volodya bridges the gap between the population and the visitors through his upkeep of a Jewish cemetery.