NOTE: This review was originally published by The World Jewish Digest on 04/1/05:

The early 20th century was the golden age of Viennese Jewry. Jews were active in both the commercial and intellectual life of the city, and were largely responsible for creating its celebrated culture. A roster of the prominent Jews living in Vienna at the time reads like a who’s who of our century’s most prominent leaders and includes Martin Buber, Sigmund Freud, Theodore Herzl, and Gustav Mahler.

A new Israeli documentary, WATERMARKS, brings it all back with a novel twist. WATERMARKS is told from the perspective of the young women who comprised the record-smashing Hakoah Vienna swim team. Bared from the city’s main sports clubs, the Jewish community defiantly built its own, and called it Hakoah (the Hebrew word for “strength”). Hakoah’s athletes competed against other Austrian teams in a full range of sports, but the women’s swim team had the highest profile. Reunited by director Yaron Zilberman, the seven feisty octogenarians in WATERMARKS tell a colorful story. Recruited in their teens by their single-minded trainer Zsigo Wertheimer, they worked hard and played hard, developing both the world-wide connections and the extraordinary self-discipline that would enable them all to survive, watching from afar as the Vienna of their youth was engulfed by the flames of Holocaust…”

Click HERE to read the full review as posted on FF2

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