In Shepherd: The Story of a Hero Dog, the unbreakable bond between a boy and his faithful dog is put to the ultimate test in 1930s Germany. When the Nuremberg Laws are passed forbidding Jews to own pets, Kaleb, a beautiful German Shepherd is separated from his Jewish family and his beloved 10-year-old master, Joshua. After Kaleb is captured and adopted by an SS dog trainer at a Nazi work camp, he is vigorously trained to round up and terrorize Jewish prisoners.
On February 15, 2023, FOLCS was joined by acclaimed actress, Ayelet Zurer, to discuss her role in this highly unique Holocaust film, just two weeks from International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and several months from controversial statements made about the Holocaust by Kanye West and Kyrie Irving. You will recognize Ayelet from blockbusters such as Munich and Angels & Demons, and from across the Marvel and DC Comics universes in Daredevil and Man of Steel respectively. Our virtual Conversation with Ayelet dives into the artistic and moral boundaries surrounding this timely film and timeless issue.
Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, Ayelet Zurer first garnered attention and critical acclaim from film audiences worldwide when Steven Spielberg cast her to star opposite Eric Bana in his Oscar nominated film MUNICH. Zurer then starred opposite Tom Hanks in the global box office hit ANGELS & DEMONS, directed by Ron Howard for Sony Pictures. Later she costarred opposite Russell Crowe in MAN OF STEEL directed by Zack Snyder, opposite Ewan McGregor and Ciarán Hinds in Rodrigo Garcia’s LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT, and opposite Clive Owen in LAST KNIGHTS.
Ayelet is one of Israel’s most acclaimed actresses. She was awarded with the Israeli Film Academy Award for her starring role as the title character in NINA’S TRAGEDIES and the Israeli Television Academy Best Actress Award for her heart-breaking role in IN THERAPY (adapted to HBO’s IN TREATMENT). Ayelet was also nominated for her role in STISEL (dNetflix) and won again for her lead role in BNEI ARUBA (adapted to CBS’ HOSTAGES) for which she also won the Golden Nymph award at Monte-Carlo, Europe’s largest television festival. Moreover, her lead role in the film MILADA (Netflix) earned her a nomination for best leading actress at the Czech Lion Awards.
Ayelet’s other film work includes Sony’s VANTAGE POINT, with Dennis Quaid and William Hurt, Samuel Goldwyn’s FUGITIVE PIECES alongside Stephen Dillane, Lawrence Kasdan’s DARLING COMPANION, Paul Schrader’s ADAM RESURRECTED with Jeff Goldblum, and MGM’s BEN HUR. In addition she was on the successful original Marvel series DAREDEVIL opposite Vincent D’Onofrio and recurred on the popular Netflix show YOU.
More recently Ayelet starred in the title role of the Apple TV+ original limited series LOSING ALICE. Her nuanced tour de force performance has been recognized by critics as “steadfastly enthralling,” “magnificently layered” and “a work of art”. The New York Times ran a great profile on her (here). Ayelet recently played the matriarch ‘Maite Voss’ on MOONHAVEN for AMC+.
In addition to acting, Zurer has illustrated two adult books, SHORTS – a collection of short stories by Paulo Coelho and the best-selling fantasy novel BADOLIN by Gabi Nitazn. In addition, Zurer wrote and illustrated AS OF NOW, a book of poems and thoughts that was published in 2018.