Israel on Film - National Center for Jewish Film



Israel on Film - National Center for Jewish Film
Dreamers and Builders
The National Center for Jewish Film
Israel on Film
Prices listed are for educational use only. Home use pricing available for most titles. Public performance prohibited.
Ahead Of Time: The Extraordinary
Journey of Ruth Gruber
USA/ Israel, 2009, 73 min,
Color/ B&W
English & Hebrew with
English subtitles
Director: Robert Richman
Israel, 1994, 53 min,
English and Hebrew with
English subtitles
Director: Ilana Tsur
DVD $90
For seven decades Foreign correspondent and photojournalist Ruth
Gruber didn’t just report the news…she made it! In a trailblazing career
that included authoring 19 books, Gruber reported from the Soviet
arctic, escorted Holocaust refugees on a secret war-time mission, and
stunned the world with dispatches from the Palestine-bound Haganah
ship Exodus in 1947. Born in Brooklyn in 1911, Ruth Gruber became the
youngest Ph.D. in the world before going on to become an international
foreign correspondent and photojournalist at age 24. She emerged as the
eyes and conscience of the world. With her love of adventure, fearlessness
and powerful intellect, Ruth defied tradition in an extraordinary career
that spanned more than seven decades. The film captures the drama of
her life as she lent her camera lens – and her heart – to refugees of war.
Ruth continues to travel all over the world re-connecting with many of
the people who shared historic moments with her in Europe, in Israel, in
the Arctic Tundra, in DP camps and refugee centers overseas and in the
United States. As seen on Showtime and featured on The Today Show.
DVD $72
On June 20, 1948, the Altalena arrived in Israel carrying 930 World War II
refugees and a stockpile of ammunition amassed by the Irgun in direct
violation of Ben Gurion’s new military chain-of-command. In a move that
almost sparked a civil war, Ben Gurion gave the order to shell the ship,
forcing Jews to fire on Jews. Yitzhak Rabin was one of the participants in
this tragic event and is interviewed.
• Doclisboa
• Toronto Jewish Film Festival
• San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
• Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
• Boston Jewish Film Festival
“The riveting footage, emotion-wracked recollections by participants on both sides,
the mind-boggling fact of Jew firing on Jew and the power play between Begin and
Ben-Gurion make this extraordinary documentary a must-see!” –Jewish Forward
“Evocative…well researched…has a modern subtext.” –The Jewish Week
• WINNER Audience Award, Teaneck International Film Festival
• WINNER Best Documentary, Miami Jewish Film Festival
• WINNER Best Documentary, Denver Jewish Film Festival
• WINNER Best Documentary, Berkshire Jewish Film Festival
• WINNER Best Documentary, Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
“Ruth Gruber is remarkable… indefatigable…a riveting raconteur…an
inspiration.” –New York Times
“A case study in pioneering feminist courage.” –Time Out New York
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Israel on Film | Page 1
Appelfeld’s Table
As If Nothing Happened
Ke’Ilu Klum Lo Kara
Israel, 2004, 47 min, color
Hebrew w/ English subs.
Director: Adi Japhet Fuchs
Israel, 1999, 50 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Ayelet Bargur
DVD $90
Identity, memory and the mysteries of the creative process and survival
combine in this film about renowned Israeli writer Aharon Appelfeld.
Director Japhet-Fuchs spent three years filming the author on his daily
pilgrimages to the Jerusalem café where he writes and meets with friends
and colleagues. She first became captivated by the author of over 30
books while reading his memoir The Story of a Life about his experience
of being a child during the Holocaust and about having to forget who he
was in order to reinvent himself as a Ukrainian boy. The film focuses on
this pivotal point in his life and his later arrival to Israel as an adolescent.
Appelfeld’s Table transmits something of the intangible process by which
Appelfeld transforms the world around him into writing - the way he puts
things together by observing people, a their gestures, and the effect they
have on him.
• WINNER Audience Award, Teaneck International Film Festival
Fiction Drama
DVD $90
Ziv Gonen, an Israeli soldier waiting for a bus, may or may not have been
a victim of a terrorist bombing. Ayelet Bargur’s drama focuses on Ziv’s
family as they await news of his whereabouts. As they wait, family and
friends pull together and fall apart as the tension mounts and the Gonen
family home becomes the site of pent up hopes and fears. Beautifully
crafted and stunningly acted, this award-winning feature film illuminates
every Israeli family’s nightmare. As If Nothing Happened is based on the
personal experience of director Ayelet Bargur and her family in the
aftermath of the Beit Lid terrorist attack of January 22, 1995. Barger’s
fictional account incorporates archival footage of the Beit Lid attack
during which two suicide bombers killed nineteen Israelis on a quiet
Sunday morning. Also directed by Ayelet Bargur: At the End of the Day.
• WINNER Audience Award, Israel Film Festival
• WINNER Best Actress, Israeli Academy Awards
“Beautifully transmits the humanity, optimism, and joy of living.” - Jerusalem Post
“Intense acting and the non melodramatic directing make this drama one of the
best films I’ve seen” - Yediot Acharonot
The Arena
At the End of the Day
Israel, 2001, 48 min, color
Hebrew with English
Directors: Moishe
Goldberg & Yonatan
DVD $72
Through decades of celebration, protest and turmoil, the massive Rabin
Square (formerly the Kings of Israel Square), in the heart of Tel Aviv, has
served as an arena for Israel’s national drama.
Rabin Square became the center of a drama of its own when a group of
citizens set out to change a municipal plan to turn the area into a parking
lot. What makes this giant, somewhat broken and neglected spot in the
center of Tel-Aviv such an important place in the lives of these people?
The Arena explores tumultuous history as viewed through a place that is
threatened by change.
Israel, 2000, 50 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Ayelet Bargur
On DVD with
As if Nothing Happened
Four commanders in the same Israeli Defense Force Golan Heights
paratrooper unit, were killed over a 22-month period. With great
sensitivity and skill, Bargur, whose brother Zvi was among those who
died, documents the ongoing attempts by these families to come to
terms with the deaths of their loved ones.
• Maine Jewish Film Festival
• Israfest
• Haifa International Film Festival
Page 2 | Israel on Film
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The Balcony
Palestine, 1935, 50 min,
Music only with English
Director: Helmar Lerskis
DVD $50
Archive Film Preserved by The National Center For Jewish Film
This landmark documentary celebrates the pioneering labors of early
Jewish settlers in Palestine. With striking visual compositions and a
remarkable soundtrack by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the film
records the technological and agricultural accomplishments of the
pioneers and extols the idea of a socialist Jewish state.
Footage includes shots taken at the Jaffa port, in Tel Aviv, and on various
kibbutzim of the time; Strasbourg-born director Lerski’s expressive
style creates an almost mythic image of the Jew in Palestine, toiling and
triumphing amidst the sweeping desert landscape.
Israel, 2000, 54 min,
Hebrew w/ English
Writer/Director: Ruth
Walk; Producer: Yael
DVD $54
Each morning from the balcony of his Tel Aviv apartment, 83-year old
artist and filmmaker Israel Becker greets one of his grandchildren on
his way to school, on a street that reverberates with the sounds of the
city and its people. His apartment walls are adorned with his paintings
of a world, a family, and a life consigned to memory and remembered
in loving detail by a dormant talent that sprang from his subconscious.
These paintings depict first and foremost his parents and siblings,
murdered in the Holocaust. Also included is footage from Becker’s
autobiographic feature film Long is the Road (1946), which he made at
the Landsberg Displaced Persons Camp and in which he starred. See also:
Long is the Road
Selected Screenings - International Munich Documentary Film Festival, Jewish
Museum Munich; San Francisco Jewish Film Festival; Palm Beach Jewish Film
Festival; Washington DC Jewish Film Festival
Aya: An Imagined Autobiography
Autobiographia Dimionit
Israel, 1994, 87 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director Michal Bat-Adam
Fiction Feature
DVD $72
Haunted by her past and struggling to do something meaningful, Aya
(played by director Michel Bat-Adam) is making a movie about her
life, first to please her father and then herself. Expanding on the same
character previously portrayed in Bat-Adam’s A Thin Line, Aya is now a
woman driven by her father’s ambition for her. As her film progresses,
fragments of her dreams and fantasies alternate with reality. The result
is less of a traditional narrative but one made from fragments from Aya’s
life. The film champions joy and being alive in every moment while being
a profound look at the emotional turmoil of a woman’s life. “God exists
in the little things,” says Aya, as the pages of her script whirl in the wind
around her. Also with Michal Bat-Adam: Love at Second Sight.
“Aya is a highly touching personal document about relationships between mother
and daughter, the hardships of young girls growing up, and the conflicts of mature
women as they grapple with memories of their past.” –Amy Kronish, Lilith
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Ben Dov: Images of a Dreamer
Yaacov Ben Dov, images d’un rêveur
France, 1999, 55 min
Hebrew & French with
English subtitles
Director: Alex Szalat
DVD $72
Yakov Ben Dov came to Jerusalem from the Ukraine in 1907 with little
more than a still camera to his name. He became one of the most
accomplished filmmakers of his time, capturing the momentous events
of his country. Ben Dov made his first documentary film General Allenby
Enters Jerusalem: The Liberation of Judea which was aimed at the diaspora
community to promote emigration. This eloquent portrait of an early
cinema pioneer mingles astounding documents of early twentieth
century Jerusalem with images of contemporary Israel.
“Yakov Ben Dov, photographer and filmmaker extraordinaire, may be the true
unsung hero of the founding of the state of Israel.” –San Francisco Jewish Bulletin
“A poetic and melancholy homage to a passionate pioneer of cinema.” –Le Monde
Israel on Film | Page 3
The Benny Zinger Show
Born in Berlin
Shalosh Nashim
Israel, 1993, 37 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Arnon
Israel, 1991, 85 min, color/
B&W, German, English,
Swedish & Hebrew w/
English subtitles
Directors: Nomi Ben
Natan & Leora Kamenetzy
Ficton Short
DVD $54
Benny Zinger presents slide shows at weddings, until one day, while
preparing a show for a couple, he falls in love with the bride. Populated
with wonderfully offbeat characters and enlivened by a good-natured
sense of humor, this quirky short presents an appealing and highly
entertaining slice of modern Israeli life.
• WINNER Best Short Film, Jerusalem Film Festival
“A wonderful fantasy... Lively, funny and smart.“ –Haifa Weekly
“A very intelligent, humorous and emotionally captivating film.” –Tel Aviv Weekly
DVD $72
This penetrating documentary looks at the lives of three Jewish women
writers: poet Cordelia Edvardson, poet, author and journalist; Angelika
Schrobsdorff, author of autobiographical novels; and Inge Deutschkron,
author and former correspondent for Ma’ariv newspaper. All three grew
up in pre-war Berlin, until Nazi racial laws shattered their lives. Uprooted
and cut off from family and friends, all three women made their way to
Israel, where they became accomplished journalists and authors. Filmed
on location in Germany, Sweden, Bulgaria, and Israel, the film follows
the unique paths taken by each of these women in her quest for identity
and the meaning of life in the aftermath of their dreadful wartime
“Wonderful... as soon as the film is over, one wants to meet with the subjects in
person. ” - Fabiana Chafetz, Ha’ir
Blind Man’s Bluff
Golem Ba’Maagal
Israel, 1993, 93 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Aner Preminger
Israel, 1989, 90 min, color
Hebrew w/ English
Director: Yitzhak Halutzi
Feature Film
DVD $90
Feature Drama
DVD $90
Based on a novel by Lilly Perry Amitai, Blind Man’s Bluff takes a bittersweet
look at the life of a young Israeli woman. Trying to distance herself from
her Holocaust-surviving parents and ex-boyfriend, pianist Micki Stav
moves out of her parents’ house in search of her own identity.
She moves into a small apartment but remains caught in a lattice of
demanding relationships; tension increases as Micki attempts to achieve
success in the classical music world. Her eclectic new neighbors, though,
introduce her to a new world of desires in which Micki finds the courage
to confront her problems and emerge as an independent and mature
Based on a true story, Braids tells the tale of So’ad, a fourteen-yearold Jewish girl imprisoned by the Iraqi government in 1947 for her
participation in the Zionist movement. The film illuminates a complex
period of Jewish life in Iraq when Jews felt their security threatened as
antisemitism surfaced with the growth of Zionism.
Jailed for three years, So’ad joined other political prisoners in a campaign
of disobedience until Iraq opened its gates in 1950 and allowed Jews
to emigrate to Israel. This feature film holds strong appeal for those
interested in Sephardic culture.
• WINNER Israeli Feature, Jerusalem Film Festival
• WINNER Golden Antigone, Montpelier Mediterranean Film Festival
“... engrossing, quietly powerful...” –Los Angeles Times
Page 4 | Israel on Film
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Chronicle of Love
Chronika Shel Ahava
Davidoff Newsreel
Israel, 1998, 90 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Tzipi Trope
Palestine, 1934, 10 min,
Hebrew (an English
translation sheet
accompanies film)
Produced by Davidoff
Newsreel Company
Fiction Drama
DVD $90
Rare Footage
DVD Unavailable
Chronicle of Love is the first Israeli feature film to deal with the subject of
battered women. Portraying the lives of women struggling with the cycle
of domestic violence, director Tzipi Trope explores the tragic, horrifying
consequences of physical and emotional abuse. When Nava, a social
worker, shares the painful secret of her suffering with Jania, another
woman victimized by her husband, the two form a healing bond. With
the help of Nava’s best friend Amit, the women attempt to escape their
respective situations. The story’s resolution is deeply troubling and
unsparing in its emotional intensity.
This newsreel segment depicts the first voyage of a Polish ocean liner to
Palestine in 1934. The film contains crudely edited footage of the festive
departure from the Black Sea port of Constanta, the passengers enjoying
the pleasures of the open sea, the recitation of Yom Kippur prayers on
deck, and an extended cantorial performance. Other images include
passengers dancing the hora, singing Zionist songs, and the impressive
urban vistas of Haifa and Tel-Aviv which greeted the visitors upon their
“Chronicle of Love is being screened at the height of Israel’s jubilee celebrations:
celebrations which conceal a deep pain, the pain of the terrible violence in which
we live, violence whose source has more than once been in love - of land, of God, of
lofty ideals, of power, of woman. I chose to tell the stories of women, women who
are beaten and murdered in the name of love. As a woman, I wanted to examine
the destructive force of love.” - Tzipi Trope, filmmaker
Dear Mr. Waldman
Michtavim Le America
Israel, 2009, 48 min
Hebrew with English
Director: Tal Haim Yoffe
DVD $90
A fascinating investigation that mirrors the development of Israel itself.
Shaking his own family tree in this beautifully-crafted documentary, Tal
Yoffe discovers a pioneering kibbutznik filmmaker, a Czarist army officer,
a Nazi-trained blacksmith, several war heroes and a much missed father.
Also directed by Tal Haim Yoffe: The Green Dumpster Mystery.
• HONORABLE MENTION, Jerusalem Film Festival
• Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema
• Syracuse International Film Festival
“An intensely personal and fascinating documentary, using the search for family
roots to talk about what we want to pass along to our children. The filmmaker
slowly reveals a family whose story is, to a great extent, the story of the State:
pogroms in Russia, second immigration pioneers, the “Tower and Stockade”
settlements, Orde Wingate’s night brigades, the Jewish Brigade, the Palmach,
illegal immigration, expulsion to Cyprus, the bitter battles of the Yom Kippur
War, and more. The film goes back and forth in time, from the pregnancy to the
grandmother, to the early 20th century, to the War of Independence, and back
again. It is an associative journey made up of dozens of images and pieces. The
baby to be born will complete the puzzle.’” –Amy Kronish, author
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Israel, 2006, 86 min, color
Hebrew w/ English
Writer/Director: Hanan
Feature Film
DVD $90
In Tel Aviv in the 1960s 10-year-old Hilik knows his goal in life–to make
his parents happy and compensate for the grief they both suffered in the
Holocaust. The fragile equilibrium of Rivka and Moishe’s new, post-war
life begins to waver when Moishe convinces himself that Yankele, his
son from his first marriage, didn’t actually die in Auschwitz, but rather
survived to become the “Jack Waldman” he sees pictured in a newspaper.
When a deluded Moishe writes a letter to Waldman, Hilik takes matters
into his own hands. A coming-of-age story written and directed by the
son of survivors, Dear Mr. Waldman beautifully captures the milieu of midcentury Israel and the peculiarities of growing up amid the emotional
wreckage of the Holocaust.
• Nominated For 3 Israeli Academy Awards
• World Premiere: Jerusalem International Film Festival
• American Premiere: Palm Springs International Film Festival
“Hilarious and heart-rending... transcends cliché.”– Boston Phoenix
Israel on Film | Page 5
Dream of My People
Halome Ami
USA, 1934, 66 min, B&W
Director: A.J. Bloome for
Palestine-American Film
Russia, 1992, 27 min, B&W
Russian with English
Director: Arkadiy Yakhnis
Early Rare Travelog
DVD $54
Documentary Short
DVD $54
Preservation by The National Center For Jewish Film
An early travelogue on Palestine, focusing on Jews living and working in
the Holy Land featuring the last appearance of Cantor Joseph (Yosselle)
Rosenblatt. Narrated by Zvee Scooler, American actor and legendary
Yiddish radio commentator. Locations featured here include Jerusalem
sites (the market, Hebrew University, the King David Hotel, the Jewish
Agency); the Judean Hills, Mikve Israel Agricultural School, pioneers
working in fields; Rishon le Zion, Rehovot, Nes Ziona, citrus picking
and packing; Jezreel valley and settlements; Tiberias and Lak Kinneret;
Bedouin dwellings; Tel Aviv and Jaffa beach and street scenes and the
Maccabiah Stadium.
Dreamers and Builders
• WINNER Jurors’ Choice Award, Jewish Video Competition, Judah L. Magnes
• San Francisco JFF, Vancouver JFF, Seattle JFF
“Visualizes a particular moment in Soviet and immediate post-Soviet history
when Jews were participating in the most recent migration of Jews - the exodus
from late and post-Communist Europe to Israel, the USA, Germany and elsewhere.
The film also captured the ambivalence many Soviet Jews felt upon departure.
Departure was not generally conceived of as an exile per se, since they were leaving
of their own volition. For the main character in Farewell, leaving was experienced
as nothing less than psychic rupture, an emotion appropraitely colored gray in the
entire film.” ” - David Shneer, East European Jewish Affairs
Father’s Footsteps
Comme Ton Pere
Israel, 1996, 50 min, b&w,
Director: Ya’akov Gross
DVD $72
Spectacular rare archival film footage of Palestine in the tumultuous
1920s forms the heart of this documentary by Israeli filmmaker and
scholar Ya’akov Gross. Considered lost for more than 70 years, these early
films taken by Ya’akov Ben Dov, the father of Hebrew cinema, depict
settlements and activities in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon le Zion and Old
Jaffa; visits by Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill; the funeral of Eliezer
Ben-Yehuda; and early Zionists who pioneered the Third and Fourth
Aliyahs. A vital and accessible look at a formative period in Israeli history.
Dreamers and Builders includes material from three rare films by Ya’akov
Ben Dov: Return to Zion (1920-21), The Rebirth of a Nation (1923), and
Romance of Palestine (1926) – preserved in a joint project by the National
Center for Jewish Film and the Israel Film Archive.
“... A triumph of photographic composition and content.” - Amy Kronish, World Cinema:
Page 6 | Israel on Film
This short documentary chronicles a 90 year old man’s emigration
to Israel from his native shtetl in Bessabaria. Yakhnis’ beautifully
photographed film poetically captures the end of a rich Jewish heritage
in Russia.
France/Israel, 2007, 95
min, color
French & Hebrew with
English subtitles
Director: Marco Carmel
Feature Film
DVD $90
Father’s Footsteps stars French-Moroccan Jewish actor/comedian Gad
Elmaleh as the charming Felix, whose missteps threaten his family’s
future. An actor, humorist, writer and director, Elmaleh’s celebrity grows
with each project. He appears regularly in French television and film and
has written and performed in several hit one-man shows. In 2007 he was
voted “la personnalité la plus drôle de France” (The Funniest Person in
France). Elmaleh’s directorial film debut, Coco, has been one of France’s
biggest box office hits of 2009. Father’s Footsteps also stars the radiant
Yaël Abecassis (Shiva, Live and Become, Kadosh) and veteran French film,
television and theater actor Richard Berry.
• Nominated for 5 Israeli Ophir Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Director,
Best Screenplay & Best Actress
Selected Screenings: Palm Beach JFF, Cinemania French FF, Philadelphia JFF, New
York Sephardic JFF, Berlin JFF, Toronto JFF, Jacob Burns Westchester JFF, Chicago
Festival of Israeli Cinema, Vancouver JFF, Washington JFF, Contra Costa JFF, Greater
Phoenix JFF
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Forgotten Children
Die Todesmuhlen
The Green Dumpster Mystery
Hata’aluma Bamekhola Hayeruka
Australia, 2009, 55 min,
Director: Monique
Israel, 2008, 50 min
Hebrew with English
Director: Tal Haim Yoffe
DVD $90
DVD $90
After the head of Indigenous Studies at Melbourne University saw
Hebrew University’s innovative program of accelerated learning for
disadvantaged students applied first hand to Bedouin children in Israel,
she established an intervention program for at-risk Aboriginal students in
remote regions of Australia, many of whom were unable to speak or write
English. Israeli teachers, traveling the outback in pairs via small airplanes,
were sent to remote schools to train indigenous teachers. Forgotten
Children tells the story of these remarkable teachers and their even more
remarkable students.
“In my house when I was growing up, these were the most important things. I feel
that the Forgotten Children expresses my heartfelt concerns, and shows that there
can be light at the end of the tunnel.” - Monique Schwarz, Director
Four Friends
Pegisha Hozeret
• WINNER Yad Vashem Award Artistic Achievement Holocaust-Related Film,
Jerusalem International Film Festival
“One of the best Israeli films of recent times. In an ostensibly light tone, which
balances the serious subjects in the film - history and memory, Holocaust and
bereavement...A very good thriller...This is a serious, complex and important work.”
Hatikvah: The Hope
Israel, 2000, 60 min, color,
Hebrew with English
Director: Esther Dar
Producers: Noemi Ben &
Natan Schory
Germany, 1936, 48 min,
Silent with German and
English intertitles
Produced by the German
Zionist Union
DVD $72
DVD $72
Four women who were roommates at an Anglican boarding school
in Jerusalem in 1939 meet 50 years later for a reunion: Selma Dejani,
daughter of an Old Palestinian Moslem family; Wadad Shihade, a
Palestinian Christian originally from Jaffa; Olga Belkind, daughter of
a prominent Zionist family; and Sharona Aharon from cosmopolitan
For Olga and Sharona, the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948
was the fulfillment of a dream, but for Selma and Wadad it spelled the
beginning of a lifelong tragedy. Their emotional reunion encapsulates
the drama and pain rocking the region.
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Traveling through Tel Aviv, Tal Haim Yoffe finds a discarded box of old
photographs in a green dumpster. This docu-detective film, slowly
unwinds a family history, beginning in Lodz, Poland, and traveling
through the Siberian Gulag, a Samarkand sugar plant, a Ha’apala ship
and the battlefields of the Sinai Peninsula. This tightly-paced tour de
force vividly evokes the now-extinguished lives of an anonymous—but
typical—Israeli family. Also directed by Tal Haim Yoffe: Clementine.
Preservation by The National Center For Jewish Film
Created in 1936 in an effort to inspire German Jews under Nazi rule to
make Aliyah, Hatikvah: The Hope is at once a documentary on the earliest
period of Zionist history and an artifact from it. The film was made three
years after the Nazis rise to power, at the narrow juncture in history when
flight from Germany was both imperative and still possible. The unique
footage focuses on some major personalities in the Zionist movement,
the constructive work carried out in Palestine by the first waves of
immigration, and the religious life of Jews from a diverse spectrum of
Israel on Film | Page 7
Holy For Me
I Am Joseph, Your Brother
Israel, 1995, 34 min, color
Hebrew w/ English
Director: Assaf Bernstein
Israel, 2001, 59 min, color
Directors: Amy Kronish &
Eli Tal-El
Fiction Short
DVD $36
DVD $36
Study Guide $10
This spoof on tours, guides, and the “holy” sites of Israel concerns thirty
year old Jonah Sidas, who had a typical Jewish-Israeli upbringing; he
was born and raised in Jaffa, graduated from high school and served as a
paratrooper in the army.
One day, Jonah donned the cross and black gown of the priesthood; now
he guides pilgrims around Tel Aviv, which he believes is a holy city for
the Christian faith. Join Jonah and his unwitting group of tourists on an
insane two-day tour of Tel Aviv.
• WINNER Best Short Film, Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival
The Holy Land
Produced for the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel in
association with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Chronicling
the visit of Pope John Paul II to Israel in 2000, I am Joseph reflects on the
often difficult and turbulent relationship that has existed for centuries
between Jews and Christians, Judaism and Catholicism, and more
recently, between Israel and the Vatican. The film includes interviews with
dignitaries, religious leaders, and educators, both Jewish and Catholic,
and never seen before footage from the Vatican Archives.
• WINNER Silver Remi Award, Worldfest International Film Festival
• WINNER Bronze Plaque, Chris Awards
Israel Rocks! A Journey Through Music of
Visions and Divisions
USA, 1917, 5 min, B&W,
Produced by Conquest
Rare Footage
DVD Not Available
This historic footage of Palestine focuses on the holy Christian and
Jewish sites of Jerusalem. Sites documented here include the Garden of
Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, the Wailing Wall, the Way of the Calvary,
and the Damascus Gate. Other footage depicts beggars, lepers and Arab
men and women at work in Bethlehem.
Israel, 2000, 55 min, color
Hebrew with English
Directors: Izzy Abrahami &
Erga Netz
DVD $72
Oan you grasp Israel by its rock and pop bands? Can you see through
them the complexities, the tribulation and the dreams of this young
country? Can you sense through song and music the divisions among
its people, their craving for peace, their pain and their disillusionment
of war? Each one of the revealing songs in Israel Rocks depicts the major
problems facing the people of Israel, from politics to poverty, their
dreams and their attempts to create a better future. The documentary
profiles over 20 singers, bands and choirs in this TV documentary, playing
and singing in various styles, from pop and rock to blues, folk and rap.
• WINNER Prix Arman, Urti Grand Prix For Documentaries
• WINNER Gold Medal, Monte Carlo Television Festival
• Golden Prague Nomination, International Television Festival
• WINNER Gemini Award, Best Documentary Academy Of Canadian Cinema &
Television History
Page 8 | Israel on Film
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The Land of Promise
The Liquid of Life
Nozel Ha-Hayim
Palestine, 1935, 57 min,
English and Hebrew
Director: Juda Leman
2008, Israel, 50 min, color,
Hebrew with English
Directed by Pini Schatz
DVD $54
DVD $90
One of Palestine’s earliest sound films and part of a campaign to
encourage settlement and investment in “the Jewish homeland,” this
striking documentary emphasizes secular accomplishments and portrays
Zionist settlers with considerable cinematographic and editorial skill.
Preserved by and made available in cooperation with the International
Museum of Photography at George Eastman House.
Pini Schatz’s funny and colorful film proves there’s no reason to be afraid
of the liquid that flows inside our veins: An artist paints with his own
blood, a psychologist explains our fears of blood, an academic describes
the fertilization with blood of the lands in Jerusalem during the Second
Temple period, one make up artist and one special-effects wizard
compete over making fake blood, the director of Israel’s blood bank
service discusses the ingredients of blood, and a hypnotist proves that
under hypnosis, blood won’t flow.
Director Schatz contributes macabre recreations of family history and
childhood memories. And yes there is also a recipe for Bloody Mary…
and a hamster as well!
• WINNER Best International Documentary, NY Independent Film & Video Festival
“A fantastic idea for a film, maybe the best idea I’ve ever heard”- Guy Maddin
Last Journey Into Silence
Living For Tomorrow: Untold Stories
by the Pioneering Women of Israel
Israel, 2001, 52 min, color
Hebrew w/ English
Director/Producer: Shosh
DVD $72
USA, 2000, 53 min, color
Hebrew and English with
English subtitles
Director: Lilach Dekel
DVD $72
Filmed at the Shaar Menashe Hospital in Israel, this heartbreaking film
examines the plight of elderly Holocaust survivors whose war-time
experiences have left them unable to find inner peace. Abandoned by
their families, Iosefina, Hana and Fira - the three patients featured - have
spent the last few decades in this hospital, and the film combines an
account of their daily routines and lives with the painful journey faced
by their respective daughters as they visit their mothers and try to bring
them back to family life.
Growing up in Israel, Lilach Dekel had heard the stories of its creation
many times; stories of hardship made bearable by the unwavering belief
in a new society founded on the principles of Socialism and Zionism.
Her grandmother, with other young idealists from Eastern Europe,
immigrated to Palestine in the 1920s, resolved to build the kibbutz
movement—a utopia of communal ownership of property, decision
making, and education. Now in their 80s and 90s, these pioneer women
offer candid evaluations of the their youthful challenges and sacrifices.
• WINNER Columbine Award for Best Documentary, Moondance IFF, Los Angeles
• Golden Sheaf Award Nomination, Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival
• Exceptional Achievement Commendation, Haifa IFF
“To succeed, these young girls had to defy stereotypes of work, mothering,
devotion to parents and sexual intimacy. Their youthful struggles evoke tears,
laughter and delightful stories, made more poignant by the striking music, stills,
and archival film that Dekel uses in her beautiful study.” - Shulamit Reinharz, HadassahBrandeis Institute
Selected Screenings: Boston Jewish Film Festival, Singapore International Film
Festival, Cracow International Film Festival, London Jewish Film Festival
“A work of tragic art.” - Phil Hall, Film Threat
Call 781-736-8600 or visit
Israel on Film | Page 9
Love at Second Sight
Ahava Mimabat Sheni
My 100 Children
Me’ah Yeladim Sheli
Israel, 1998, 90 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Michal Bat-Adam
Israel, 2003, 68 min,
English, Hebrew & Polish
with English subtitles
Directors: Amalia
Margolin & Oshra
Feature Film
DVD $90
New HD Transfer
DVD $90
Renowned Israeli filmmaker and actress Michal Bat-Adam produced,
wrote, and directed this intriguing tale of romantic obsession in presentday Tel Aviv. The beautiful Michal Zuaratz stars as a young female
photographer infatuated with a stranger whose image she accidentally
captures on film. Also directed by Michal Bat-Adam: Aya: An Imagined
When Lena Kuchlar discovered dozens of orphaned Jewish children in
Krakow after WWII, she employed the progressive psychiatric methods
of Janusz Korczak and slowly brought these damaged kids back to life.
Antisemitic attacks in 1949 forced her to smuggle the children out of
Poland to France and later to Israel. Based on Küchlar’s best-selling
autobiography, the film includes moving interviews with her “children.”
“The film sizzles with the heat of impetuosity.” –Boston Globe
• WINNER Best Documentary, Israeli Film Academy
• WINNER Best Documentary - Jewish Experience, Jerusalem IFF
“A meditation on finding –and keeping– love.” –Jewish Advocate
Selected Screenings: Zagreb Jewish Film Festival, Jewishfilm.2010 NCJF Annual Film
Festival, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Rochester Film Festival, Bergen County
Jewish Film Festival, Rutgers Jewish Film Festival, Toronto Jewish Film Festival,
Pacific Jewish Film Festival, Jerusalem International Film Festival
“Definitive version of the inspiring story of Lena Kuchlar … absorbing…no
shortage of poignant and dramatic moments.” – Variety
Love Inventory
Reshimat Ahava
My Brother’s Wedding
Israel, 2000, 90 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: David Fisher
DVD $72
USA, 2003, 36 min, color
Director: Daniel Akiba
Documentary Short
DVD $72
Filmmaker David Fisher and his siblings were grappling with the
concerns of families everywhere: divorce, child-raising, job pressures,
emotional problems. After the loss of his parents, Fisher feared that his
tightly knit family was growing apart. As they sifted through the family
papers, a long-buried secret rises to the surface. Bittersweet, honest and
touchingly funny, Love Inventory chronicles Fisher’s attempt to solve a
personal mystery—uniting his troubled family in the process.
Three months after Dan Akiba’s brother Jonah traveled to Israel from
Boston, Jonah called his mother and declared, “The Torah is the word of
God.” After his brother’s radical conversion, Akiba found it increasingly
difficult to remember the brother he once knew. Akiba’s film documents
his family’s trip to Israel to attend Jonah’s wedding and explores how his
brother’s embrace of the foreign world of Orthodox Judaism has affected
them all.
• WINNER Best Documentary Israeli Academy Award
• WINNER Best Documentary Jerusalem Film Festival
• WINNER Merit Award Taiwan Int’l Documentary Festival
• WINNER Best Documentary DocuNaga
Selected Screenings: Israel’s Living Canvas/ GersherCity Boston; Contra Costa
International Jewish Film Festival; San Diego Jewish Film Festival; San Jose Jewish
Film Festival; Atlanta Jewish Film Festival; Boston Jewish Film Festival; Vancouver
Jewish Film Festival; Toronto Jewish Film Festival
”David Fisher’s Love Inventory is a riveting documentary, both thematically and
technically, that renders the lines between fictional and non-fictional cinema
almost irrelevant... a gem that does the Israeli cinema proud.” -Variety
”A remarkable piece of intimate documentary making.” -The Jerusalem Post
Page 10 | Israel on Film
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Next Year in... Argentina
El Año que Viene en... Argentina
A People Chosen:
Who is a Jew?
Israel, 2005, 62 min, color
Spanish with English
Director: Jorge Gurvich
and Shlomo Slutzky
Israel, 1976, 57 min, color
Director: Herb Krosney
DVD $72
DVD $72
Argentinean-born Israelis filmmaker Jorge Gurvich and journalist Shlomo
Slutzky met in Buenos Aires in the 1970’s before both men immigrated
to Israel. Thirty years later, they take up the question of Jewish-Argentine
history, identity and especially attitudes towards Israel. Over a period of
six years, Gurvich and Slutzky interviewed a host of Argentinean Jews,
examining their decisions to remain in Argentina or emigrate to Israel.
This film is an excellent vehicle to explore issues of Jewish identity.
Orthodox Jews, Jewish atheists, Russian immigrants, and kibbutzniks
discuss their views on the controversial debate over ‘who is a Jew.’
Interviewees include Abba Eban, Rabbi Goren, Yigal Alon, and David
The Argentinean Jews struggle with economic and emotional issues
which are often painful. The film reveals the difficulties common to many
immigrants, especially Jews in the diaspora who struggle to find a safe
and sustaining place for themselves and their families.
“Next Year in... Argentina helps to define the different perceptions of Jewish
identity and the place of the Jewish state in modern Jewish consciousness. – The
Jewish Channel
On My Way to Father’s Land
Pillar of Salt
Natziv Hamelech
Israel, 1995, 75 min,
Hebrew w/ English
Director: Aner Preminger
DVD $72
A moving documentary account of a son’s struggle to understand his
father’s past. The film takes us on two journeys: the first is to Vienna,
where director Preminger’s father returns to his childhood home to share
stories of his youth during the Nazi occupation. On the second journey,
we follow Preminger’s father as a young immigrant in Palestine where he
became a member of the first “Knesset,” joined the Palestine Communist
Party, and later resigned to establish the Hebrew Communist Party.
Israel, 1980, 58 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Haim Shiran
Fiction Drama
DVD $72
Based on the autobiographical novel by sociologist Albert Memmi, this
fiction feature film captures the cultural richness and social complexity
of a Jewish boy’s life in Tunisia, North Africa. Alexander, age 13, is an
expressive and intelligent boy who sensitively responds to conflicting
pressures from surrounding French and Arab societies. A rare opportunity
to see the unique customs of Sephardic Jewish life in Tunisia, including
Sabbath dinner and Alexander’s bar mitzvah.
Through interviews and archival material, the younger Preminger
discovers his father’s role in the politics and ideology debated in those
days. The film ends as the father reviews his life but still “continues to
build, to dream and plan growth and renewal.” Also directed by Aner
Preminger: Blind Man’s Bluff
Call 781-736-8600 or visit
Israel on Film | Page 11
Purple Lawns
Deshaim S’Gulim
Rain 1949
Israel, 1998, 56 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Dina Zvi-Riklis
Israel, 1998, 52 min, color
Hebrew and Arabic with
English subtitles
Director: Ilan Yagoda
Feature Film
DVD $72
DVD $72
In this fiction feature film, Yael and Shlomit, two secular free-spirited
women, bring in a third roommate to their Tel-Aviv apartment: Malka,
an enigmatic ultra-orthodox woman. Malka’s interest in living with two
secular women touches Yael’s heart but arouses Shlomit’s suspicions. The
growing friendship between Yael and Malka makes Shlomit jealous and
she begins to follow Malka. After many twists and turns, Malka’s secret
is revealed. The orthodox woman’s treatment by her own community
and her subsequent miserable fate moves both women who determine
to help her. The film tells the story of an intimate bond between women
from different worlds.
Selected Screenings: Wonder of Women Festival, Tucson Jewish Film Festival,
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival, Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival
The settlers of Kibbutz Megido and the Arab villagers of Lajun are
connected to the same hill. Director Ilan Yagoda arrived at Megido in
1977 as a part of his military service. Only then did he discover that
his mother had been a part of the original group of refugees who had
established Kibbutz Megido. For four years Yagoda lived on the Kibbutz.
Seventeen years later he returns to the Kibbutz and meets the refugees
of the past, Jews and Arabs tied to the same plot of land.
• WINNER Bronze Award, Worldfest-Flagstaff
Selected Screenings: Worldfest-Flagstaff, Sao Paulo Jewish Film Festival, Haifa
International Film Festival, Worldfest Houston International Film, San Francisco
Jewish Film Festival, Museum of Jewish Heritage - New York, NY, Hamptons
International Film Festival, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
”A catharsis of sorts, symbolized by the torrential rains of 1949 which could never
quite wash away the past.” -The Jerusalem Post
Shivah in November
Rites of Passage:
The Spiritual Journey of Alice Shalvi
Israel, 2010/1995, 62 min,
Hebrew with English
Producer: Noemi Ben
Natan Schory, Belfilms
DVD $90
The assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November
4, 1995 as he left a peace rally in support of the Oslo Accords plunged
the country into mourning. That the gunman was a 25-year old Israeli
opposed to the peace accords whose aggression was encouraged
by the rhetoric of homegrown Israeli groups further complicated the
event’s fallout. Rabin: Shivah in November documents the assassination’s
aftermath as it occurred, recording the chaos, the spontaneous acts of
public mourning and the various political and personal responses of
Israel’s leaders and citizens.
Israel, 1998, 51 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Paula WeimanKelman
DVD $72
Leading Israeli scholar, feminist, and peace activist Alice Shalvi discusses
her public and private lives, from her childhood in Essen to present-day
Israel. Shalvi reflects on her full and active life as a daughter, wife, mother
of six, university professor, principal of an experimental girls’ religious
school, founding chair of the Israel Women’s Network, and Rector of
Jerusalem’s Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. Weiman-Kelman’s
tribute uses home movies, archival films, and Shalvi’s splendidly-told
“A wise and witty portrait of a genuine heroine by a gifted new filmmaker. Alice
Shalvi’s journey is an inspiration to women and men - everywhere.” -Jerusalem Report
“Alice Shalvi’s resume is impressive, but seeing and feeling her journey on this film
is overwhelming.” - Dianna Friedgut
Page 12 | Israel on Film
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Ish HaHashmal
Second Watch
Mishmeret Shniya
Israel, 2002, 90 min, color
English and Hebrew with
English subtitles
Director: Eli Cohen
Israel, 1995, 14 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Udi Ben-Arie
DVD $72
Fiction Short
DVD $36
Eli Cohen’s biopic of Pinchas Rutenberg, a complex, larger-than-life
visionary who, amongst other things, brought electricity to Jewish
Palestine in the 1930s with the establishment of a hydroelectric power
station in Naharayim. Set in 1931, flashbacks show how Rutenberg
lobbied Winston Churchill and other British MPs to bankroll his electricity
project and how he was implicated in a plot to overthrow the Russian
czarist government. A film festival favorite. Also directed by Eli Cohen: The
Berkowitz, an Israeli Reserve soldier, is on watch at a remote post along
the Israeli-Jordanian border. Just a few yards away across the border, he
finds an equally bored Jordanian soldier. The interaction between the
two guards makes for an irresistible comic exercise and speaks volumes
about the simple human truths underlying the complexities of life in the
Middle East.
• WINNER Best Art Direction - Israeli Film Academy
Selected Screenings: Israel’s Living Canvas/ GersherCity Boston; Virginia Jewish Film
Festival; Reno Jewish Film Festival: Miami Jewish Film Festival
“Menashe Noy’s Rutenberg is a brilliant, formal, self absorbed man who had the
ability to compel the most recalcitrant worker to follow his lead.” - Los Angeles Times
The Secret: Poland’s New Jews
Israel, 2010, 56, min, color
Hebrew, Yiddish with
English subtitles
Director: Yael Leibovitz
DVD $90
In this clever “mockumentary”, Yael Leibovitz Zand searches for a
renowned Yiddish actor who went missing 25 years ago, leaving behind
debts, rumors and a mysterious inscription—”schund”—on his door.
While searching for him, we meet the colorful (real) characters who made
up Israel’s vibrant Yiddish scene during the country’s first decades, a
period when Yiddish theater thrived even under pressure from the Israeli
• North American Premiere: Toronto Jewish Film Festival
• World Premiere: DocAviv Tel Aviv Documentary Festival
“A fascinating film to watch. By presenting various interviews with a host of
individuals – most of which were true Yiddish theater actors during the heyday of
this genre – the film is able to paint a vivid, vibrant and enlightening picture of
those days. Katsaf’s melodramatic story is sweepings, and no less are the ups and
downs that characterized the local Yiddish theater.” -Haaretz
Call 781-736-8600 or visit
• WINNER - Best Short Film - Dresden International Filmfest
• Best Foreign Film Nominee - Student Academy Awards
Israel/Poland, 2001, 52
min, color
English, Hebrew, Polish,
with English subtitles
Director: Ronit Kerstner
Producer: Noemi Schory
DVD $90
Through accidental discovery or deathbed confessions, many Catholic
Polish citizens have made an unsettling discovery: they were born Jewish.
These “new Jews” must decide what this new truth means to them, as
Poles and as Jews. With their Jewishness repressed and repudiated for
decades by their parents, these children grew into to adulthood under
Communist rule knowing nothing of their heritage. Often, this unsettling
news came as a result of a family crisis or life-cycle event, heightening
the familial and personal drama experienced by these new Jews who find
even their most intimate relationships tested. Many became estranged
from their disapproving families after making the decision to practice
Jewish customs and rituals. These personal stories unfold in the context
of Polish-Jewish history and as a direct legacy of the Holocaust.
• WINNER Best Documentary, Bordeaux International Festival of Women in Cinema
“ The film’s strength lies in its depiction of people searching for the answer to the
question, ‘Who am I?’” - Gazeta Wyborcza (Polish daily newspaper)
Israel on Film | Page 13
The Shower
So We Said Goodbye
Nifradnu Kach
Israel, 1997, 35 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Jorge Gurvich
Israel, 1991, 26 minutes
Hebrew and Yiddish with
English subtitles
Director: Jorge Gurvich
Fiction Short
DVD $54
Hospitalized in a ward, a father (Yossi Yadin) pleads with his son to be
allowed to return home at least once for a shower. The elderly man’s
anxiety in the face of loneliness and death fades and the unresolved
conflicts of his family disappear for a few moments of grace as his son
bathes him in the shower. Also Directed by Jorge Gurvich: Next Year in...
Argentina; So We Said Goodbye.
• WINNER Best Short Film - Jerusalem Film Festival
• WINNER Best Film, Best Director - Chile International Short Film Festival
• WINNER Best Short Film - Uruguay International Film Festival
• SPECIAL MENTION - Krakow International Short Film Festival
Short Film
DVD $54
While saying goodbye to his son and grandchildren who are leaving
Israel, Yackov remembers when, as a child, he also said goodbye to his
family in Poland in 1937, not realizing that he would never see them
• WINNER Best Short Film, Jerusalem International Film Festival
”This beautiful short film by the outstanding Israeli photographer Jorge Gurvich
moved me to tears. Do not miss it!” ­Nacham Ingbar, Yediot Aharonot
“This beautiful short film by the outstanding Israeli photographer Jorge Gurvich
moved me to tears. Do not miss it!” –Yediot Aharonot
Simply Human
Song of Hannah
Israel, 2000, 30 min, color
Dutch, English, & Hebrew
w/ English Subtitles
Directors: Izzy Abrahami
Erga Netz
DVD $72
Simply Human tells the story of Mrs. Hans Snoek, a 90 year old Dutch
dancer who has dedicated her life to helping people. Famous in the
Netherlands for being the creator of the Scapino Ballet (an adult group
dancing for children), the Krakeling theater (a children’s theater) and
many more artistic and humanistic activities, including the creation - just
three years before - of the Toverbal (“Magic Ball”: a foundation dedicated
to help refugee children in the Netherlands to overcome their traumatic
experiences through the experience of Arts), for all these contributions
she’s received top honors from the Dutch Queen and other Dutch
Famous as she was, there’s one part of Hans Snoek’s life that was little
known and that sheds light on her unique character. During World War II
she hid Jewish people in her home in Amsterdam, and for risking her life
in this way she’s received the Righteous Among the Nations Award from
Yad Vashem.
Page 14 | Israel on Film
USA/Hungary, 2005, 45
min, color/b&w
English, Hungarian
& Hebrew w/ English
Director: Nicole Opper
DVD $72
A visionary poet who felt that she had been chosen for a special mission,
Hannah Senesh left the Palestine kibbutz she had helped to build and
parachuted into her native Hungary to rescue victims of the Holocaust
at the tail end of the war. She was caught, imprisoned, tortured, and
killed at age 23. A visually poetic film and love letter to it’s subject, Song
of Hannah combines intimate interviews with a fellow prison inmate,
her mission commander, and family members, and weaves them with
Hannah’s poems and writings as well as with the voices of students at a
school founded in her name. These students keep her spirit alive today,
and Song of Hannah embraces them as storytellers, challenging young
people to contribute to the collective memory of their history as the
students trace Hannah’s story from Hungary to Israel and back, from their
hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
“Song of Hannah is an amazing opportunity to bring together audiences of youth
and elders to forge an important exchange about courage, art and identity.” - Judith
Helfand, award-winning filmmaker
Call 781-736-8600 or visit
Stan Getz:
A Musical Odyssey
Tel Aviv-Jaffa
USA, 1978, 60 min, color
Director: Herbert
Israel, 2009, 125 min,
Hebrew with English
Directors: Anat Zeltser,
Modi Bar-On, Gabriel
DVD $72
2 DVD Set $180
”You know, when I’m playing, I think of myself in front of the Wailing Wall
with a saxophone in my hands, and I’m davening, I’m really telling it to the
Wall.” –Stan Getz. Join jazz saxophone virtuoso Stan Getz on his 1977
three-week tour of Israel. Getz adapting his unique style to the various
ethnic sounds of Israel when he jams with local musicians, including
a Kurdish drummer, an Arab quartet, a Hassidic wedding band, a
Yemenite dance troupe, and the Piamenta Brothers Band, an Israeli group
influenced by Eastern European music, traditional Jewish chants, rock
and roll, Jazz, and Arabic music.
Produced in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Tel Aviv, this two
part documentary explores the rich and complex history of Tel Aviv from
its beginnings as an unpretentious neighborhood on the outskirts of
Ottoman Jaffa to its the present status as one of the world’s vibrant and
modern cities. The film also documents the fate of Jaffa, the city that gave
birth to Tel Aviv and was subsequently engulfed by it. Israeli TV celebrity
Modi Bar-On hosts this fast-paced, lively film, which intercuts a treasure
trove of archival material with those of contemporary Tel Aviv. Tel AvivJaffa portrays the plethora of national conflicts, political tensions and
cultural contradictions that makes the city unique.
The Struma
Too Close to Home
Shnei Meter M’Habayit
Canada, 2001, 90 min,
color, English
Director: Simcha
Israel, 1995, 50 min, color
Hebrew with English
Director: Ori Inbar
DVD $90
Documentary Short
DVD $54
In 1941 nearly 800 Romanian Jews board a 46 meter boat called the
Struma, a refugee ship bound for Palestine. The vessel is horribly
overcrowded, the people are packed together like sardines, and then
the engine fails. Limping along the Struma manages to reach Istanbul
Harbor and then it waits while Turkey trying to stay “neutral” in the war
deliberates the passengers’ fate. In 2000 using information from the sole
survivor the grandson of two Struma passengers leads an international
team of elite divers to find the watery grave of his grandparents.
Immediately a Turkish dive club claims to have found the wreck and with
Turkish government support, attempts to obstruct the search for the
Struma. Suddenly, contemporary politics mirror events of the early 1940’s
and the divers find themselves entangled in a 60-year-old cover-up.
“Simcha Jacobovici’s engrossing documentary not only functions as a memorial
to this little-remembered tragedy, but also as a latter-day adventure yarn...A
documentary of unusual narrative excitement” – Variety
The future of the Golan remains a crucial issue for Israel’s future.
This documentary about the people who live in and protect the
Golan provides important insight into the political and social issues
surrounding the territory.
In 1994, Israeli army officer and filmmaker Ori Inbar recorded his annual
reserve service in the Israeli-Syrian border patrol on the Golan Heights.
The resulting documentary follows five of the men of Inbar’s unit during
the 32 days of their yearly tour of duty, an experience they have been
sharing for nearly 20 years. The film then moves on to reveal the soldiers’
domestic lives; all five of the men actually live in the Golan, and were
among the first to settle in the area after it changed from Syrian to Israeli
“ (A) monument to the affirmative power of historical memory..” – Toronto Star
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Israel on Film | Page 15
Transnistria: The Hell
Underdogs: A War Movie
Beit Shean: Seret Milhamah
Israel, 1996, 40 min,
Hebrew with English
Director: Zolton Terner
Israel, 1996, 86 min, color
Hebrew with English
Directors: Doron Tsabori &
Rino Zror
Documentary Short
DVD $54
DVD $72
From 1941-1944, 300,000 Jews were killed at the hands of Romanian
officials in Transnistria, an area of southern Ukraine bordering Rumania.
Dubbed the “land of exile” by the Romanian Jews herded there, hundreds
of ghettos and concentration camps dotted the landscape. Unlike the
“killing industry” of Auschwitz, Romanian death camps used the “old
methods” of “long drawn-out deaths”: shooting, starvation, freezing,
and illness. Of those who survived, only the children are left. Now adults
living in Israel, these orphans of Transnistria give testimony with their
memories, paintings, letters, and photographs. Scholars, including
Dalia Ofer, Leon Wallovitz, and Shmuel Ben-Tzion, discuss the history of
Transnistria and probe the reasons why this area has become known
as the “Forgotten Cemetery.” Writer Aharon Appelfeld is one of several
survivors of Transnistria featured in this emotional and hard-hitting Israel
documentary, which details an almost-forgotten part of the Holocaust
and presents the case of frustrated survivors whose experience and
suffering has gone mostly unrecognized in Israel.
A charming documentary about the soccer mania that hits Beit She’an
as the local team prepares for their last crucial game of the season. Beit
She’an, a small working-class Israeli town near the Jordanian border,
must defeat the rich, national championship team from Haifa in order
to remain in the league. More than battles on the soccer field, the film
is about the conflicts between rich and poor, small town and big city,
minorities and the ruling class.
The Trial of Adolf Eichmann
The Vision of Chaim Weizmann
France, 2011, 90 min
English narration, Hebrew,
German & French w/
English subtitles
Director: Michaël Prazan
• WINNER Best Documentary, Israeli Academy Awards
Selected Screenings: Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Gainesville Jewish Film Festival
USA, 1963, 27 min, B&W
Director: Lazar Dunner
Documentary Short
DVD $36
DVD $90
Blu-ray $125
The 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann held in an Israeli courtroom
and broadcast around the globe, was a benchmark event in the
historiography of the Holocaust, especially in Israel where the trial proved
a watershed experience for survivors and citizens of the new Jewish state.
Employing new video and broadcast technologies, the trial was also
a milestone in media and journalism coverage. From the producers of
Being Jewish in France and Einsatzgruppen, this absorbing, comprehensive
new documentary features detailed accounts of Eichmann’s capture, the
drama in the courtroom and behind the scenes, and reactions to the trial
from around the world.
A biography of Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel,
incorporating film footage, sketches, and still photographs. The film
begins with Dr. Weizmann’s inauguration as President and then surveys
his life from childhood in Russia, to early adulthood in Germany and
England, and his eventual arrival in Palestine. The documentary then
discusses the rise of Hitler in Germany, the “White Paper,” the effect of
World War II on European Jews and Palestine, and culminates with the
proclamation of the State of Israel with footage of Truman recognizing
Israel and presenting Weizmann with a Torah as a gift.
• USA Premiere: New York Jewish Film Festival
”Marvelous footage... the film gives audiences a chance to be at the trial... Viewers
will see Eichmann’s facial tick, discussed at length in coverage of the trial. They will
see portions of witness testimonies. I heard stories I had [not] yet heard about the
Holocaust... A fascinating assemblage of interviews, footage, and analysis. It is
highly recommended.” –Jewish Daily Forward
Page 16 | Israel on Film
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What I Saw in Hebron
Ma Sheraiti B’Hebron
The Wordmaker
Ish She’Ahav B’Ivrit
Israel, 1999, 73 min, color
Hebrew & Arabic w/
English subtitles
Directors: Noit Geva &
Dan Geva
Israel, 1991, 90 min, color
Hebrew, English, French
& Russian with English
Director: Eli Cohen
DVD $90
DVD $90
Seventy years after the 1929 Hebron massacre, directors Noit and
Dan Geva bring us the personal testimony of 12 people who survived
the atrocity. Noit Geva’s grandmother, 16 years old at the time of the
massacre, recorded a journal entry “What I Saw in Hebron.” She never
spoke of her experience. This gripping documentary allows a rare
glimpse into a little-known moment in Israel’s history.
• WINNER Bronze Award, Worldfest-Flagstaff
Selected Screenings: Sao Paulo Jewish Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival, New
York Jewish Film Festival, DocAviv International Film Festival, International Human
Rights Film Festival, Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, San Francisco Jewish Film
Festival, Sao Paulo Jewish Film Festival, Taiwan International Documentary Film
Festival, United Nations Association Film Festival, Festival de Cinema de Girona,
Washington Jewish Film Festival, Festival of Jewish Cinema Australia
Women Unchained
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a language war raged in
Palestine. The contenders: Yiddish, Russian, French, German, English, and
Hebrew, a language barely spoken for 2000 years. At stake: the national
language of the Jewish homeland-in-the-making. This fiction feature film
from veteran director Eli Cohen tells the dramatic life story of Eliezer BenYehuda who championed the cause of modern Hebrew. Also directed by
Eli Cohen: Rutenberg
• Represented the Israel Broadcasting Authority in Prix-Italia
Zoll Zeyn
USA, 2011, 60 min, color
English & Hebrew with
English subtitles
Director: Beverly Siegel
DVD $90
Israel/ Germany, 1989, 135
min, color
Yiddish with English
Directors: Henryk M.
Broder & Frans van der
2 DVD Set $72
An important new film documenting the “get-o-nomics” extortion
schemes levied against “agunot” -- women whose husbands refuse to
grant them a Jewish divorce. Narrated by actress Mayim Bialik (Blossom,
The Big Bang Theory) and shot in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Miami,
Los Angeles and Israel, Women Unchained includes Susan Weiss, founder
of the Center for Women’s Justice in Israel; Sharon Shenhav, director
of the International Jewish Women’s Rights Watch; Rabbi Gedalia Dov
Schwartz, Chicago Rabbinical Council and the Beth Din of America; and
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes who helps Jewish victims of
domestic violence.
The state of Yiddish culture in Israel in the late 1980s is examined, from
socialist Bundists in Tel Aviv to the Orthodox in Jerusalem to all of the
poets, singers, revolutionaries, journalists, and actors in between for
whom Yiddish is a living language in the midst of Hebrew. The Yiddish
speakers interviewed discuss their love of Yiddish language and literature
and the attitude in Israel toward Yiddish. They also share stories and
vignettes highlighting the vitality and richness of Yiddishkeyt.
Selected Screenings: Jerusalem Cinematheque Israel (Special Event), Pittsburgh
JFF, Rockland County JFF, Palm Beach JFF, Berkshire JFF, Washington JFF, Spertus
(Chicago), Toronto JFF, Hungary JFF (Budapest), Brussels JFF, Savannah JFF
”A daring yet dignified film” - The Jewish Press
”Thought provoking, unexpected yet uncomfortably familiar” - Hadassah Magazine
Call 781-736-8600 or visit
Israel on Film | Page 17
All titles available exclusively through NCJF.
Contact NCJF to arrange public exhibition screenings of any
kind. Exhibition formats vary by title and include: 35mm, 16mm,
Beta, DCP, DVD and Blu-ray. Educational Use DVD purchase does
not include public performance rights.
Special discount pricing available for orders of multiple titles,
VHS upgrades and special collections.
Digital site licensing also available with select titles. Blu-ray
verisons available with some newer titles.
For complete ordering information, full film descriptions or to
find out about public performance rentals visit
The National Center for Jewish Film
Since 1976, The National Center for Jewish Film has rescued,
restored, distributed and exhibited films that document the
diversity and vibrancy of Jewish life. NCJF owns the largest
collection of Jewish content film outside of Israel and is a
major distributor of new films, representing 100 contemporary
independent filmmakers from around the world.
NCJF is an independent non-profit 501(c)3 arts organization.
Donate now and save endangered films.
The National Center for Jewish Film
Lown 102, MS 053
Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02454
[email protected]
Page 18 | Israel on Film
Call 781-736-8600 or visit

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