The screenplay for this wartime tragi-comedy was written by Jurek Becker, a Jewish survivor of the concentration camps and the Warsaw Ghetto. When he could not get the script produced, he transformed it into a worldwide best-selling novel. This movie was produced about ten years after the screenplay was originally written. The story concerns a ghetto character, Jacob (Vlastimil Brodsky) who tells the others huddled there that the Russians are winning the war against the Germans and are advancing on Warsaw. How does he know? He says he has a radio hidden away, which, if true, could earn him immediate execution. In fact, there is no such radio, and his prediction (for such it is) is years ahead of events. When the Germans begin executing residents and shipping the rest to concentration camps, his lie is shown for what it is. Indeed, his best friend commits suicide as soon as he learns the truth. However, for a little while, Jacob the Liar kept hope alive in a hopeless situation.