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About The Film

The inspiring true story of the rise, fall, and redemption of African American professional basketball legend, Aulcie Perry, who did not make an NBA team, but ended up leading the all-star Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv team to their first, fabled European Champions League title in 1977. Sports Illustrated called the win, "the most extraordinary season in its remarkable history." After that winning season, Perry converted to Judaism (changing his name to Elisha Ben Avraham), married top model Tami Ben Ami, and became an Israeli citizen. However, at the height of his career and fame, an addiction to painkillers and drugs destroyed the fairy tale. Years later, on an Israeli TV episode of This Is Your Life (1995), Perry is reunited with head coach Sam Luk who always believed in him, given a chance to reconnect with his estranged daughter in America, and find his true purpose–coaching aspiring young players.

Director Bio

Menkin headshot 

Dani Menkin has not only represented his films many times at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival but received awards almost every time. Menkin's films include documentaries 39 Pounds of Love (SJFF 2006; Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary); Dolphin Boy (SJFF 2012); On the Map (SJFF 2017), and last year for our 25th anniversary we opened with Picture of His Life and Menkin was awarded both our REEL Difference Award, recognizing filmmakers who focus on social issues and diversity, as well as our new Golden Or (Light) Prize, awarded by a jury of filmmaker peers, for Picture of His Life.

Watch two recent interviews with Menkin moderated by SJFF Director Pamela Lavitt on our YouTube channel. 

  • Watch >> Menkin 39 Pounds of Love interview (with composer Chris Gubisch and Asaf Shaul)
  • Watch >> Menkin's Picture of His Life interview (with composer Chris Gubisch and film subject, photographer Amos Nachoum)

aulcie poster

Film Details:


Director: Dani Menkin
Country: USA, Israel
Language: English, Hebrew w/English subtitles
Running Time: 74
Year: 2019
Genre: Documentary

  • African American
  • Athlete/Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Conversion to Judaism
  • Fatherhood
  • Israeli Sports
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv
  • Sports

Rating/Warning: PG-13


  • Carol Schapira and Michael Levin