Kokin, Daniel Stein. “Between Eyal and Axel, Yahweh and Christ: The Theological Sub-Text of Walk on Water (2004).” Prooftexts 33.3 (2013): 365-280.
The stereotypical character of Walk on Water (Israel, 2004) has represented a severe obstacle for many viewers, who have been quick to denounce it as both trite and superficial. This article argues instead that the film’s clearly intentional and self-conscious recycling of numerous clichés concerning Germans and Israelis alike points to its deeper meaning and purpose. In particular, it shows that these clichés constitute the essential infrastructure with which the film engages and attempts to resolve the problematic German–Israeli, and by extension Christian–Jewish, relationship in the aftermath of the Holocaust. It further suggests that the film offers its own “final solution” to this vexed relationship—a “messianic” deliverance from the respective traumas of each party—in the form of an allegorical synthesis of Jewish and Christian theology, directly reflected in the contrasts and evolving relationship between its two primary characters. Itself highly stereotypical, the theology upon which the film draws facilitates its critique of German and especially Israeli attitudes toward power and violence.