I Dance But My Heart is Crying

I Dance, But My Heart Is Crying tells the story of the almost unknown Jewish musical life in Nazi Berlin.


Between 1933 and 1938, the two Jewish-run record companies Semer and Lukraphon were still able to produce music by Jewish artists. This music was completely destroyed on Pogrom Night in 1938; for decades it was considered lost. It was not until more than 70 years later that this lost treasure was unearthed through meticulous detective work. The film tells this chapter of Jewish life in Nazi Berlin on the basis of the rediscovered music and the knowledge passed down by the descendants. In addition to the label founders, most of the Jewish musicians, composers and performers were also victims of the Holocaust, which is discussed in detail in the film. The international Semer Ensemble, founded in Berlin around the US-American bandleader Alan Bern and consisting of a total of eight international Jewish musicians, reconstructed and rearranged these recordings. Since then, the eight musicians have been touring the world and inspiring people. This music will run like a thread through the feature-length music documentary.

About the Director

After graduating from German high school, Christoph Weinert completed an internship at the Cinémathèque française in Paris. He then studied visual arts, film and photography. From 1992 to 1995 Christoph Weinert was an assistant director on various feature film productions in France and Germany. Since 1996 he has been working as a freelance writer and director. His first full-length documentary film “White Hunters – White Gold” with locations in the South-West of Africa was nominated for the “Golden Lion” in 1997. In 2011, he wins the “Special Jury Prize” at the International Film Festival in Houston/Texas with his two films “Birth of a Legend” and “Blue Jeans Billionaire”, both produced in Germany and the USA. In the same year, his film “Brick by Brick“ (Geheimsache Mauer) is nominated for the “German Television Award”. Currently, Christoph Weinert is developing several movies for the international cinema and TV market.

Artist Statement

Two years ago, a Swiss film producer left me a videotape of an interview recorded in Tel Aviv in the fall of 2018.  These were the last recordings with Zeev Lewin, who died the following year. The producer, with whom I had previously made the film “Jewish in Europe,” asked me if I could exploit this previously unreleased interview in some way in a film. I watched the video, did research and dove deeper and deeper into an almost unbelievable story that finally led me to make the film I Dance, But My Heart is Crying, named after one of the lost music titles from the Nazi era. After further research, I came across Jewish-American musician Alan Bern, who, along with seven other international musicians, had formed the Semer Ensemble. Their goal is to revive the almost forgotten Golden Age of Jewish music. 


Production Country

Production Company
Flemming Postproduktion Ltd


Subject Region

90 minutes

Christoph Weinert

Executive Producer
Klaus Fleming

Yves Kugelmann

Jürgen Heck

Christian Lutz