section Documentary Film Competition

Generation 1.5

    • Roman Shumunov
    • Raya Shuster (co-director)
  • IL
  • 2023
  • 80

Almost a million people from the former Soviet Union immigrated to Israel in the 1990s. A shocking experience, especially as a child. Growing up between Russian-speaking parents and a society that was at least ambivalent towards the new arrivals, the children from back then shed light on an important part of Israeli immigration history.

“Generation 1.5” refers to people who migrated in their childhood and therefore grew up between two countries, cultures and languages. Today, over 200,000 Russian-speaking Israelis belong to Generation 1.5, which made aliyah and came to Israel in the 1990s. Rarely of their own accord however. Rather, the reasons were the rampant anti-Semitism in the former Soviet republics and the “advertising” of the Israeli government.
Through compiling private photo, video and film material, historical television recordings and interviews, Roman Shumunov tells his own story. The protagonists of his documentary talk about experiences of discrimination, loss of status and generational conflicts, the fight for acceptance and recognition, tragic strokes of fate, the loss of their own culture and, ultimately, the rediscovery thereof. This generation's contribution to Israeli society is now considered a success story yet the road there was not made easy for them. The various stories convey very personal views of the universal experience of migration and, at the same time, speak of experiences both individual and also typically Jewish.

Text: Dominique Ott-Despoix
English: Peter Rickerby

Following the screenings on 20.6. at Kino Krokodil and on 22.6. at Filmmuseum Potsdam there will be a Q&A with the director and protagonist Roman Shumunov and co-director and co-creator Raya Shuster.


original title Generation 1.5

international title Generation 1.5

german title Generation 1.5

JFBB section Documentary Film Competition

  • director
    • Roman Shumunov
    • Raya Shuster (co-director)

country/countries IL

year 2023

duration 80

Roman Shumunov

BIO My name is Roman Shumunov, and I am an award-winning Israeli film director and screenwriter. With my extensive experience in both TV and cinema, I have worked across various genres. My passion for storytelling and attention to detail allow me to create compelling visual narratives that resonate with audiences, making my films an immersive and engaging experience. -Education- 2008-2011. Graduating with honors in Cinema and Television Studies from Sapir Academic College, Israel.

Raya Shuster (co-director)

BIO Raya Shuster is an acclaimed Russian-born, Tel Aviv-based documentary filmmaker, producer, and writer. Her thought-provoking work delves into social structures and trauma, blending scripted and documentary formats. In 2017, she created the critically acclaimed 'Kipat Barzel' (Commandments), which ran for two seasons on Keshet TV. Shuster co-created and co-directed 'Generation 1.5' for the Israeli Broadcast Channel in 2022, shedding light on the immigrant experience. Since 2023, Shuster has collaborated with Kastina Communications on multiple productions. Currently, she is focused on a new, highly anticipated project that explores the profound impact of the October 7th events.