Tag Archives: Israel

BEN-GURION, EPILOGUE: in his own words, Israel’s founding leader reflects

In Ben-Gurion, Epilogue, footage from a recently discovered video interview allows us to hear from Israel’s founding leader in his own words. In 1968, David Ben-Gurion was 82 years old and had been retired from public office for five years. … Continue reading

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LEVINSKY PARK: refuge for refugees?

Israel was created as a home for refugees.  What happens when African refugees overwhelm a neglected Tel Aviv neighborhood is the subject of the topical documentary Levinsky Park. Director Beth Toni Kruvant takes us to Tel Aviv’s hardscrabble Hatikva neighborhood,  … Continue reading

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THE WOMEN’S BALCONY: a righteous man must keep his woman happy

A community of women in a traditional culture revolt in the delightfully smart and funny Israeli comedy The Women’s Balcony.   The balcony in a small Jerusalem synagogue  collapses, and the building is condemned.  The old rabbi’s wife is seriously injured, … Continue reading

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WRESTLING JERUSALEM: it’s complicated

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has inspired both documentary and narrative movies, but none is more imaginative than Wrestling Jerusalem. This year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SJFF36) will host Wrestling Jerusalem’s world premiere. Wrestling Jerusalem is a one-man play written and … Continue reading

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Cinequest: THE PROMISED BAND

The documentary The Promised Band is about a group of Israeli and Palestinian women seeking to fight through the cultural, legal, political, military and security barriers between them (by forming a girl band).   It effectively brings the audience into … Continue reading

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THE GO-GO BOYS: THE INSIDE STORY OF CANNON FILMS: an improbable, wild ride

The two Israeli filmmakers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus had a very wild ride, and the documentary The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films is their improbable story.  Golan began as a director of Israeli films and his … Continue reading

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The Gatekeepers: winning tactics make for a losing strategy

The Gatekeepers: This Israeli documentary is centered around interviews with all six surviving former chiefs of Shin Bet, Israel’s super-secret internal security force.   We get their inside take on the past thirty years of Israeli-Palestinian history.  What is revelatory however, … Continue reading

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The Matchmaker: a character-driven gem from Israel

Fascinating characters make good stories and good movies, and the Israeli gem The Matchmaker has them aplenty.   A middle class teenager falls into a very unusual summer job – the “spy guy” for a matchmaker based in a Haifa neighborhood … Continue reading

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Footnote: a comedy of awkwardness reveals two guys choosing misery

A rising Talmudic scholar sees his career-topping prize accidentally awarded to his grumpy father.  This potentially comic situation reveals a character study of the two men.  At the beginning, we see the father as bitterly sullen.  As the story peels … Continue reading

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