Erez Laufer Films
The Darien Dilemma
The Darien Dilemma
90 Minutes; Hebrew, with English subtitles




A father and his filmmaker son explore the untold story of 1000 Jews from Vienna stranded on the frozen Danube River in the winter of 1941 as they await the life or death decision of their rescue by Ruth Klieger and other Mossad agents who control their fate.

In a hotel in Istanbul Ruth Klieger and her fellow agents from the newly created Mossad (Israeli Secret Service) have spent months planning the rescue of the stranded Jewish youth. They bought a ship, the Darien, to transport the youth from Yugoslavia to Palestine. But days before the ship is set to sail, Ruth receives word from the leadership in Tel Aviv that the Darien has been sold to the British to be used in a sabotage attack against the Germans. A heated debate ensues among Ruth and the other agents: do they hand over the Darien to the British as ordered, or do they defy their leaders in Tel Aviv and rescue the desperate refugees waiting along the banks of the Danube?

Laufer Nachum, the father, set out to tell a story about his mother‘s escape from Europe when he came upon the story of another woman, Ruth, "The Lady of the Mossad." His obsession with Ruth takes him into the bowels of his country’s secret past.

Erez, the filmmaker son, creates a unique story within a story, weaving together documentary footage of his father’s quest to tell Ruth’s story, with the moral dilemma facing Ruth, performed by actors and written by his father.

Blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, reality and obsession, the Darien Dilemma is a story about a son’s homage to his father’s search to understand a woman’s life and death decision and the history that connects them all.
Tel Aviv (

Director: Erez Laufer
Production: Erez Laufer Films
Screenplay: Nachum Laufer
Director of photography: Yaron Sharf, Erez Laufer
Editor: Miri Laufer
Music composer: Yehuda Poliker
Drama producer: Orli Feldhaim
Yuval Hadadi as Shmaria, Yoav Himan as Arazi, Gadi Poor as Barpal, Mickey Leon as Shind, Haran Sagi as Yuda Breginsky and Hadas Kalderon as Ruth Klieger

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