4 Million Bullets Trailer
4 Million Bullets: The Untold Fight for Survivial
This year, we celebrate a major milestone for the state of Israel – the 70th anniversary of its founding.
But there would be no anniversary of Israel to celebrate in 2018 had it not been for an extraordinary groundswell of mass heroism 70 years ago. That’s when everyday people from North America, South Africa, and Europe – young adults, former World War II soldiers, business people, Holocaust refugees, Jews and gentiles – came together as volunteers in a spontaneous, largely improvised effort to establish a nation for the Jewish people.
Despite impossible odds and nearly insurmountable obstacles, they succeeded.
Their stories are fascinating – and largely unknown. There’s the tale of the Central American “banana boats” that evaded an international embargo to transport European refugees to Palestine. The elite fighters trained to act like Arabs and sent underground to infiltrate enemy areas. The covert group of North American Jewish business leaders who secretly raised the equivalent of $2.5 billion for the cause. The ragtag Czech war-surplus aircraft from which crew members dropped bombs by hand on their targets. The young Polish Catholic who left his comfortable life in Philadelphia to smuggle refugees and join an elite fighting force in the Galilee. The underground bullet factory that operated for more than two years hidden beneath a fake laundry shop. And many, many more.
Many of these stories have gone untold for seven decades – until now. 4 Million Bullets: The Untold Fight for Survival is a film that brings these tales of heroism and passion to life – often in the first-hand accounts of the extraordinary men and women who lived them.
4 Million Bullets is:
A compelling documentary detailing a pivotal but largely unknown period
in Jewish history
A moving testimony to the audacity, courage, and relentlessness of
“ordinary” people who were willing to sacrifice all to establish the state of
A fascinating saga of real-life covert operations and derring-do that rivals
Hollywood action films
A vital, much-needed educational resource to inspire and strengthen the
bonds of heritage and faith that connect younger Jews to the nation their forebears fought to create
The inspiration for this series is my Zionist grandfather. Born in Vilnius, Leo Quint of Newton, Massachusetts was an upholstery shop owner who traveled to Israel with his GMC work vans, which he then donated to the nascent Israeli Defense Forces who converted them into badly needed ambulances.
Producers' Statement: Jeff Hoffman & Divvy Ahronheim
Jeff Hoffman is a dual citizen of the US and Canada and a longtime producer and cinematographer, having worked for years worldwide with a focus on documentary production.
His interest and curiosity about World War II and the Holocaust has led to extensive research on the many Canadians, Americans, South Africans, Jews, and non-Jews, who volunteered to fight alongside the Jews in Palestine for Israeli Statehood.
Divvy Ahronheim is a Montreal based producer, writer, and educator. Her strong personal and professional connections to Jewish life and Israel have fueled a career in education and now filmmaking, combining two of her life-long passions to help bring this documentary project to life.
At the request of David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir and despite all embargoes on the region, airplanes, arms, and ships secretly purchased by wealthy American Jews were transported to Palestine overseas under the noses of the FBI and the occupying British. Though it was illegal in the United States, many young men and women also volunteered to fight, leading to these amazing stories depicting the birth of the State of Israel.
"4 Million Bullets: The Untold Fight for Survival" has evolved into an incredible historical documentary series involving surviving members from 58 countries. The 4000 International Jewish and non-Jewish volunteer soldiers, along with the financiers who, under the threat of prison and death, funded the smuggling operation and rallied support around the world for the defense of the newborn state, while the Arab nations were prepared to “sweep the Jews into the sea.” After the horrors of the Holocaust there would be no second chance, and so there was no choice. It was a fight for survival, Ein Breira.
We have been filming throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Israel over the last year, capturing on High Definition 4k video interviews with participants and locations that played a key role in the War of Independence.
With the 70th anniversary celebration of the declaration of the State of Israel on the horizon, now is the perfect time for the voices of these brave men and women to be heard. It is our responsibility to make sure their stories are never forgotten, and continue to pass from generation to generation.
Smoky Simon, Chief of Air Operations in Israel's War of Independence, Machal from South Africa, filmed in Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Joel Schalit, Son of Elie Schalit, "Materials for Palestine," filmed in Berlin .
Danny Shapira, Israeli ace fighter pilot during the War of Independence, Six-Day War and Yom Kippur War, filmed in Haifa, Israel.
Ann Bussell, Daughter of Sonneborn Institute member, Shepard Broad, responsible for outfitting refugee ships, filmed in Miami.
Marcia Wolman, Machal from South Africa, served as an Air Force meteorological instructor, filmed in Connecticut.
Martin Dvorak, Consulate General Czech Republic, filmed in New York City.
Shaul Sapir, Palmach Mist'arvim (Hidden Arab), filmed in Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Duke Labaczewski, Machal from New York, served on the Aliyah Bet refugee ship "Hatikvah," filmed in New Jersey.
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