Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Films


 

CATEGORIES

1. Early Zionist Films

2. Zionism, Pre-State Palestine and Birth of Israel

3. The Arab-Israeli Conflict

4. Terrorism

5. Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

6. Modern Israel

7. Israel and the Media

8. Islamic Radicalism

Each documentary is listed alphabetically under the appropriate category. 
Some of the documentaries may be listed under more than one category.
Several films include links to reviews by CAMERA staff (indicated when available).  

 

1. Early Zionist Films

Avodah (1935)

50 minutes
Israel, B&W
Director: Helmar Lerski

This documentary celebrates the pioneering labors of early Jewish settlers in Palestine. With a soundtrack by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the film records the technological and agricultural accomplishments of the pioneers and glorifies the idea of a socialist Jewish state. It is interesting for the historical footage, which 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. Preserved by the Israel Film Archive.National Center for Jewish Film

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Dream of My People (1934)

66 minutes
USA, B&W, English and Yiddish versions
Producer: Palestine-American Film Company
Director: A.J. Bloome

An early travelogue on Palestine, focusing on Jews living and working in the Holy Land featuring the last appearance of Cantor Joseph (Yosselle) Rosenblatt. 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.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Dreamers and Builders (1996)

50 minutes
Israel, B&W
Director: Yaakov Gross

This historic documentary incorporates rare footage of pre-state Israel from four early films preserved in a joint project by the National Center for Jewish Film and the Israel Film Archive. Director Gross captures wonderful scenes of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon LeZion, and Old Jaffa as well as rural settlements and activities throughout the land.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Hatikvah: The Hope (1936)

48 minutes
Germany, B&W, silent with German and English subtitles
Produced by the German Zionist Union

Created in 1936 in an effort to inspire German Jews under Nazi rule to make Aliyah, Hatikvah: The Hope is both a documentary on the earliest period of Zionist history and an artifact from it. The film was made three years after the Nazi 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 Perse spectrum of backgrounds.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Land of Promise (1935)

57 minutes
Palestine, B&W, English and Hebrew
Director: Juda Leman

This is one of Palestine's earliest sound films and part of a larger campaign to encourage settlement and investment in "the Jewish homeland." This documentary emphasizes secular accomplishments with cinematographic and editorial skill. Punctuated by evocative close-ups, this part documentary, part-travelogue, part-message film shows Palestine as a land of opportunity, the place for fulfilling an ancient dream. Preserved by the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

2. Zionism, Pre-State Palestine and Birth of Israel

Altalena (1994)

53 minutes
Israel, Color/B&W, English and Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Ilana Tsur

This documentary examines the 1948 episode of the Altalena, a ship whose fate nearly incited a civil war in the newly-established State of Israel. Immediately after Israel attained statehood, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion established a national army into which several independent Jewish defense forces were supposed to unite. However, on June 20, 1948, the Altalena arrived in Israel carrying 930 World War II refugees and a stockpile of ammunition amassed by the Irgun (one of the independent defense forces) in violation of Ben Gurion's new military chain-of-command. Ben Gurion gave an order to shell the ship, forcing Jews to fire on Jews, killing 16 Irgun members. The controversy surrounding the Altalena affair continues to reverberate in current Israeli politics. Original black and white newsreel footage, news clippings, photos and interviews with participants on both sides recreate this tragic event in Israel's history.

"The film contains vivid interviews from participants on both sides, interspersed with shots done by panning the camera across still photographs taken at the time. 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... The viewer is haunted by the faces of those Tsur interviewed from both sides, themselves still struggling to find a place to store the piercing memory." - The Jewish Week

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Exodus 1947: The Ship That Launched a Nation (1996)

56 minutes
USA, Color, English
Directors: Elizabeth Rodgers and Robby Henson

Narrated by Morley Safer, this is a documentary about the Aliya Bet ship "Exodus 1947", secretly financed and crewed by American Jews. In the summer of 1947, this dilapidated Baltimore steamer run by former Jewish-American GI's took aboard 4,500 Holocaust survivors in Southern France and sailed for Palestine. Unable to run the British blockade, the immigrants battled the British and were sent back to Displaced Persons Camps in Germany—a horrible destination for survivors of the Holocaust. Newsreels of this event and concern over the plight of the passengers galvanized international support for the creation of the State of Israel. The film includes interviews with former crew members and passengers as well as newsreel footage

"This splendid, carefully researched and assembled documentary is chock-full of fascinating details as it recalls a courageous, complex and dangerous mission with immense consequences." - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: 7th Art Releasing
Contact Info
Telephone: 323-259-8259
Email: info@7thart.com

Flames of Revolt: The Story of the Irgun (1994)

100 minutes
Color/B&W

Documentary from the perspective of former Irgun (or Etzel, acronym for Irgun Tzva Leumi) members about the history and actions of the Irgun——one of three Jewish underground military organizations that fought to bring about the establishment of the State of Israel. Highlighted are the bombing of the British headquarters in the King David Hotel, the breakout from the Acre prison, and the sinking of the Altalena. Includes historic film footage as well as interviews with Irgun commanders and fighters (including Menachem Begin), British intelligence officers and historians.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: Ergo Media Inc.
Contact Info (phone, email): 
Telephone: (201) 692-0404     
Email: info@jewishvideo.com

 

In Our Own Hands: The Hidden Story of the Jewish Brigade in World War II (1998)

85 minutes
USA, Color/B&W
Director: Chuck Olin

This film traces the history and the activities of the Jewish Brigade of the British army—the only all-Jewish fighting unit in World War II, which was composed of young Jewish men living in Palestine. The film begins with the men in 1995, at a 50th reunion at the scene of their major battle fought in Italy, and includes interviews with them throughout. The film's focus, however, is on the operations of the Brigade after the war. In post-war Europe, these young soldiers formed secret vengeance squads to assassinate Nazi officers in hiding, and engineered the rescue and illegal movement of Holocaust survivors to Palestine. Brigade veterans were also instrumental in helping to organize and lead the new Israel Defense Forces in 1948, in Israel's War of Independence. The film sheds light on an important and little known chapter in Jewish history.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Israel's Forgotten Heroes (1999)

60 minutes
USA
Director: Jerry Levine

Winner of 1999 Emmy for Best Documentary

A riveting documentary tribute to the American men and women who actively helped in the creation of the State of Israel from 1945-1949. Hal Linden presents this story of the men and women—Jews and non-Jews—who, despite the perils involved, played a crucial role in the founding of Israel. The program features firsthand accounts from Americans who went to Israel and helped fight for Israel's independence—or who aided Israel by providing weapons and aircraft. Many of these inPiduals were veterans of World War II or Americans who were affected by the plight of Holocaust survivors and wanted to help ensure that a Jewish homeland was established. The film features archival footage, vintage photographs and first person accounts from Americans who participated in Israel's War of Independence.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions:
Higher Authority Productions, Inc. (HAP)
10800 Biscayne Boulevard,
Suite 800,
FL 33161

Contact Info (phone, fax, email):  Telephone
:(305) 899-3002
Fax: (305) 899-3003
Email: email@hapvideo.com

 

Pillar of Fire: A Television Series (Hebrew version, 1979)
(abridged English version DVD release, 2005)

7 hours
Israel, English
Produced, Written by Yigal Lossin, Israel Broadcasting Authority
Director: Ya'akov Eisenman
Narrator (English version): Ian McKellen

The DVD release in English is an abridged version of the highly acclaimed Israeli TV mini-series, "Amud Ha'esh," documenting the history of modern Zionism, from its inception in the 1890s to the establishment of the modern day state of Israel in 1948, against the background of events that led to its development and shaped its character. The seven part series includes:

Part 1: The Jews Returns—The Arab Awakens (1896-10)
Part 2: The Dream (1914-19)
Part 3: The Rise & Fall of German Jewry (1919-1936)
Part 4: Who\'s Afraid of a Jewish State? (1937-1939)
Part 5: Holocaust (1939-1945)
Part 6: Exodus (1945-1947)
Part 7: A Nation Reborn (1947-1948)

Available from Israel-Media.comIsrael-Catalog.comAmazon.com

 

The Long Way Home (1997)
*Click here for CAMERA review of film

116 minutes
USA, Color, B&W
Director: Mark Jonathan Harris

Winner of the 1997 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary

This powerful film documents the plight of Holocaust survivors between 1945 and 1948——from liberation to the creation of the State of Israel. Using archival footage, interviews, and personal accounts from diaries and letters, it examines what happened to displaced Jewish refugees determined to reach Palestine after the war. The film shows a post-war political climate that was surprisingly hostile to the Jewish refugees, who had suffered so much during the war. It also focuses on how Zionism and the hope of a Jewish homeland gave many survivors the incentive to continue living. Includes interviews with survivor Rabbi Israel Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel, as well as interviews with other survivors; two U.S. Army chaplains stationed in Europe after liberation; a member of the Bricha.

Moriah Films, Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance Online Store

VHS 
DVD

 

What I Saw in Hebron (1999)

73 minutes
Israel, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
Producer: Michal Arram
Director: Noit Geva & Dan Geva

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, who was only 16 years old at the time of the massacre, was so traumatized by the event that she never spoke of her experience, but recorded what she witnessed in a journal entry entitled "What I Saw in Hebron." This gripping documentary allows a rare glimpse into a little-known moment in Israel's history.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

3. The Arab-Israeli Conflict 

Israel: A Nation is Born (1997)

360 minutes
An Israel Heritage/WNET Production
Producer and Director: Neville Meyer
Narrator: Abba Eban

This television mini-series, originally 5 episodes, was released in 1992.  In 1997, it was re-released with an additional episode and in again in 2002, as a boxed DVD set. Abba Eban, an Israeli diplomat and politician who served as foreign minister during Israel's Six Day War,  presents the story of modern Israel through both historical events and personal, firsthand recollections of many of those who lived them, using international newsreels, archival film footage, and photographs as well as both modern and vintage interviews that, while heavily weighted toward the Zionists and eventual Israelis, also include those of world Arab leaders and local Arab citizens. About the series, Eban said, "the series is designed to provide an essential context to an inspiring human story."
 The episodes include:
From the Rise of Zionism to 1948 (51m:01s)
The Creation of the State 1948-56 (51m:11s)
Coming of Age 1956-67 (50m:40s)
Six Days That Changed the Middle East 1967-73 (48m:40s)
New Conflicts, New Dreams 1973-90 (55m:25s)
On the Brink of Peace (56m:33s)—added in 1997 

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: Home Vision Entertainment 
Also available for Purchase from: Amazon.com; WGBH

 

Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East (2003) 
 

60 minutes
Israel, Color, English/Spanish/Hebrew
Producers: Raphael Shore, Pael Seidman, Honest Reporting:
Directors:  Wayne Kopping, Brian K. Spector

"Relentless" uses primary source video clips to examine the history of the Mideast conflict and how the Oslo peace process unraveled in a surge of violence. Interviews with relatives of Palestinian terrorism victims, clips from Palestinian TV encouraging terrorism and footage of viciously anti-Semitic sermons broadcast from Palestinian mosques allow Americans to understand and contextualize the struggle for safety and peace in the Middle East.

Contact Info: HonestReporting.com/relentless
To purchase online
: Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East

 

Shooting Conflicts (2003)

48 minutes
Israel, English  
Producers: Noam Shalev and Yosi Leon
Director: Noam Shalev

For seven years, Alon Bernstein, an Israeli TV news journalist working for AP and Jimmy Michael, a Palestinian TV journalist working for BBC, have gathered the news, witnessing events from opposite sides of the conflict, filming terrorist attacks, military occupation, aftermaths of suicide bombings, peace initiatives and human suffering. Their views and opinions are shaped and formed by personal, direct encounters with the events, undiluted by the editorial bias that dictates the daily TV news seen all over the world.  In "Shooting Conflicts," the pair reveal their first hand experiences in forthright interviews with the filmmaker.

Contact and Purchasing Information: Highlight Films
Email: info@highlight.co.il
For information about screenings: noam@highlight.co.il

 

The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs (1998)
*Click here for CAMERA review of film

300 minutes
PBS/WGBH/BBC Film
Executive Producers: PBS, Zvi Dor-Ner, Brian Lapping, Norma Percy
Producer/Directors: David Ash, Dai Richards, Michael Simkin and Charlie Smith

This documentary--created by PBS for the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel--attempts an even-handed study of the relationship and conflicts between Israelis and Arabs. The film opens with the 1947 decision of the U.N. to partition Palestine and includes numerous film clips as well as interviews with political and military leaders on both sides, as well as from the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. The first episode includes Israel''s struggle for statehood, the wars of 1948 and 1967, and the history of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The second episode covers the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1978 Camp David Accord, the 1987 Palestinian Intifada Uprising, and the Oslo Agreement in 1993--and reconciliation attempts which followed. Officials interviewed include Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Shamir, King Hussein, Yasir Arafat, Hafez al-Assad (Syria), Jafaar Numeiry (Sudan), Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter.

Purchasing Information: PBS Films; Amazon.com VHS; Amazon.com DVD

 

The Trojan Horse (2002)

40 minutes
English and Arabic, with English and French subtitles 
Director: Pierre Rehov

"The Trojan Horse" demonstrates, through rare footage of Palestinian leaders themselves that their goal remains the eradication of the Jewish state. The film opens with the words of deceased Palestinian leader Faysal Husseini talking about how Palestine will cover from "the river to the sea," an official states the peace process is merely a first step toward the destruction of Israel, children's television programs indoctrinate them to hate and become "martyrs," speakers on talk shows deny Israel’’s right to exist, Arafat calls for jihad and the total destruction of Israel. This shocking and rare footage gives important context to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Contact Information: Pierre Rehov.com
To purchase online
: Katrina Productions

 

What I Saw in Hebron (1999)

73 minutes
Israel, Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
Producer: Michal Arram
Director: Noit Geva & Dan Geva

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, who was only 16 years old at the time of the massacre, was so traumatized by the event that she never spoke of her experience, but recorded what she witnessed in a journal entry entitled "What I Saw in Hebron." This gripping documentary allows a rare glimpse into a little-known moment in Israel's history.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

4. Terrorism

Impact of Terror (2004)
*Click here for CAMERA review of film

52 minutes 
Canada, Color, English 
An Associated Producers film
Producers: Simcha Jacobovici, Tim Wolochatiuk
Director: Tim Wolochatiuk

“Impact of Terror” is a moving documentary about Israeli victims of terror struggling to cope in the aftermath of the Aug. 9, 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem. It effectively maps out the victims’ scars –both physical and emotional – and humanizes the personal struggles of individuals who are often unnamed in news reports and relegated to casualty counts. .

Contact Information
Nicole Austin
Associated Producers
110 Spadina Ave #1001
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2K4 

Fax:  (416) 504-6667
Email: general@apdocs.com

 

Maytal (1996)

51 minutes
Israel, Color, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Yael Kipper Zarezhky

A 1996 terrorist bombing in Tel Aviv left 27-year-old Maytal Lederman critically injured and took the life of her brother Asaf. This documentary follows Maytal over a period of eight months in an Israeli rehabilitation hospital, as she struggles to cope with her loss and rebuild her life with her husband Steve. Emotionally affecting yet unsentimental, this portrait of one woman's trauma provides an unforgettable human perspective on the tragic consequences of Middle Eastern conflict.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Munich: Operation Bayonet (2006)

52 minutes
Israel,  English
Producer: Noam Shalev
Director: Ron Maiberg

Many accounts exist of the Mossad’s operations throughout the Middle East and West Europe. The Israeli Mossad’s operations against the Palestinian Black September terrorist organization following the 1972 massacre of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics was brought to the screen in a much hyped, fictionalized version by Steven Spielberg. (See CAMERA’s Film Review: "Munich")  In “Munich: Operation Bayonet,” the real story of the Israeli Mossad's "Bayonet" unit responsible for that operation is exposed, told first-hand by the people involved. The documentary revisits the scenes of the operations with the Mossad agents responsible, and presents the personal accounts of CIA operatives and the surviving Black September members. The film gives an unrivaled and compelling account of Israel’s unprecedented actions.

Contact and Purchasing Information: Highlight Films
Email: info@highlight.co.il
For information about screenings: noam@highlight.co.il
For special screenings and US broadcast: ravit@dragomanfilms.com

 

No. 17 is Anonymous (2003)

76 minutes
Israel, Color, English, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producers: Edna and Elinor Kowarsky
Director: David Ofek

A suicide attack at the Megiddo junction near Tel Aviv in June 2003 killed 17 people.  Sixteen were identified and accounted for. The film documents the 6-month effort by the film crew to search for the identity of the 17th victim who was buried anonymously after no one claimed his mutilated body and police gave up searching.  The film also records the stories of several people who were affected directly or indirectly by the bombing, creating a portrait of a society living under the shadow of death.When it seems that the investigation has reached a dead end a vague lead suddenly appears.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

One Day in September (1999)
*Click here for CAMERA review of film

94 minutes 
Switzerland, Germany, UK,  B&W,Color, English, German
Producers: Arthur Cohn and John Battsek.
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Narrated by Michael Douglas

1999 Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary

This Oscar-winning documentary is about the Black September terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Interspersing interviews and archival news footage of the actual events, the film tells the story of the doomed Israeli athletes and the Palestinian terrorists who held them captive while theWest German police displayed their ineptitude and indifference and the International Olympic Committee showed a shocking lack of sensitivity toward the Israeli victims.

Available for purchase from : Amazon.com

 

Shalom, My Dream (1999)

60 minutes
Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Noam Ben Shoham

This moving, documentary is about the last 24 hours in the life of Bat-Chen Shahak, one of three girls killed by a terrorist bomber on Purim Day, March 3, 1996. It was Bat-Chen's 15th birthday. Through conversations with her younger brother, her Israeli teenage friends, and her family, and photos taken the day of the bombing, the film explores life and death, the price of peace and the loss of innocence. .

Contact Information: 
Noam Ben Shoham
137 W 67th Street #1W
New York, NY 10023

Telephone: (212) 877-2322
Email: nbs99@hotmail.com

 

Suicide Killers (2006)
*Click here for CAMERA review of film
 

80 minutes
Israel, English, Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Pierre Rehov

In his seventh documentary, French filmmaker Pierre Rehov, investigates the motives and driving forces behind suicide attackers through interviews with psychologists, terrorism experts, family members, victims, and most compellingly, with failed and would-be suicide killers themselves. .

Contact Information: Pierre Rehov.com
To purchase online
: Katrina Productions

 

The Making of a Martyr (2006)

58 minutes
Israel, English
Producers and Directors: Brooke Goldstein and Alistair Leyland

On March 24th, 2004, 15 year old Hussam Abdu was apprehended at an Israeli border checkpoint with live explosives strapped around his waist. Instead of detonating the bomb, out of fear of death and love for his family, Hussam voluntarily surrendered and is now serving time in an Israeli prison for attempted murder. Since the start of the second Palestinian Intifada, an alarming number of suicide bombers have been children aged eighteen or younger. To explore this troubling phenomenon, filmmakers Brooke Goldstein and Alistair Leyland risked their lives and traveled to the Palestinian towns of Jenin, Ramallah, Tulkarem and Nablus, seeking out and meeting with leaders of terrorist organizations responsible for recruiting children for suicide attacks. Through a series of first hand and thought provoking interviews, "The Making of a Martyr" brings its audience into a part of Palestinian culture previously ignored by uncovering those who are facilitating, teaching and paying children to take their own lives as human bombs.

For information about Public Showings of this program, or to purchase the program for educational use: a2bfilms@gmail.com
To Purchase Video:  Filmoption International 

 

Zaka: Living With Death (2004)

47 minutes
Israel, English
Producer and Director: Noam Shalev

Two suicide bombers detonate their bombs in a busy shopping area in the center of Tel Aviv. The aftermath is horrific. Enter the ZAKA team. Black plastic bags in hand, they scour the area, intent on finding everything down to the last fingernail. Their mission: To collect every piece of flesh, every scrap of hair, left after a suicide bombing. Always on call, their beepers vibrate seconds after the disaster. They believe in providing the "Chessed Shel Emet" or "true act of kindness"—i.e. a burial for all human remains. They are the ZAKA volunteers. The film follows the ZAKA volunteers in more than two years of suicide bombings in Israel, in their training and when they get the call - to come and take care of the bodies. In February 2004 a group of Zaka volunteers traveled to The Hague with the bombed bus from one of the suicide bombings in Jerusalem.

Contact and Purchasing Information: Highlight Films
Email: info@highlight.co.il
For information about screenings: noam@highlight.co.il

 

5. Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

I Miss the Sun (1984)

20 minutes
USA, Color
Producer and Director: Mary Halawani

Filmmaker Mary Halawani profiles her grandmother, Rosette Hakim, in this illuminating documentary short. A prominent Egyptian-Jewish family, the Halawanis fled their homeland in 1959 when anti-Zionist sentiments were on the rise and hundreds of Jews were interned in detention camps for alleged pro-Communist activities. Rosette, the family matriarch, chose to remain in Egypt until every member of the large family was free to leave. She discusses the contrast between life in her native land and her new home in America. Using the Passover seder as a backdrop, Rosette (who now lives in Brooklyn) discusses life in Egypt and the contrasts between the values and textures of life there and in America.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

The Dhimmis:To Be a Jew in Arab Lands (1987)

29 minutes
B&W
Producer: David Goldstein
Director: Baruch Gitlis

This powerful film documents the plight of Holocaust survivors between 1945 and 1948——from liberation to the creation of the State of Israel. Using archival footage, interviews, and personal accounts from diaries and letters, it examines what happened to displaced Jewish refugees determined to reach Palestine after the war. The film shows a post-war political climate that was surprisingly hostile to the Jewish refugees, who had suffered so much during the war. It also focuses on how Zionism and the hope of a Jewish homeland gave many survivors the incentive to continue living. Includes interviews with survivor Rabbi Israel Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel, as well as interviews with other survivors; two U.S. Army chaplains stationed in Europe after liberation; a member of the Bricha.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: Ergo Media Inc.
Contact Info (phone, email):
Telephone: (201) 692-0404
Email: info@jewishvideo.com

 

The Forgotten Refugees (2005)
*Click here for CAMERA review of film
 

Winner of the 2007 Award at Marbella Film Festival

49 minutes
English, Color
Producer: The David Project and IsraTV
Director Michael Grynzspan

The Forgotten Refugees explores the history and destruction of Middle Eastern Jewish communities, some of which had existed for over 2,500 years. Featuring testimony from Jews who fled Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco and Iran, the film explores the rich heritage and destruction of the Middle East’s age-old Jewish communities. Personal stories of refugees are interspersed with dramatic archival footage, including the mission to rescue Yemenite Jews.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: The Forgotten Refugees 
Available for Purchase online by clicking here.
Contact Info (phone, email):
Telephone: (617) 428-0012 ext. 1153
Email: jenna@davidproject.org

 

The Last Jews of Libya (2007)

50 minutes
English, Italian, Arabic with Subtitles
Producer: Aryeh B. Bourkoff
Director: Vivienne Roumani Denn
Narrator: Isabella Rossellini

The film documents the final decades of a centuries-old Sephardic Jewish community through the lives of the Roumani family. The film traces the story of the Roumanis of Benghazi, Libya from Turkish Ottoman rule through the age of Mussolini and Hitler to the final destruction and dispersal of Libya's Jews in the face of Arab nationalism. Based on the recently discovered memoirs of the family's matriarch, Elise Roumani, as well as interviews in English, Hebrew, Italian, and Arabic with several generations of the Roumani family and a trove of  archival film and photographs, "The Last Jews of Libya" tells the story of an ancient community buffeted by Fascism and Arab nationalism and ultimately saved through the strength of its Jewish tradition and faith. .

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044    
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

The Silent Exodus (2004)
*Click here for CAMERA review of film
 

59 minutes
Israel/France, French w/ English Subtitles
Producer and Director: Pierre Rehov

Rehov interviews several prominent scholars and survivors of the Arab pogroms including Bat Ye'or, the scholar who introduced the concept of "dhimmitude" (the legal and social conditions of Jews and Christians subjected to Islamic rule) into the lexicon. They vividly elucidate the circumstances precipitating the departure of these Jews from their longtime homes.

Contact Information: Pierre Rehov.com
To purchase online
: Katrina Productions

 

6. Modern Israel

Applefeld's Table (2004)

47 minutes
Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Adi Japhet-Fuchs

The film revolves around the renowned Israeli author, Aharon Applefeld's daily pilgrimages to the Anna Ticho House in Jerusalem, whose café he uses as a study and a meeting place with friends and colleagues. Appelfeld's dramatic personal story is enriched by excerpts from his writings with an attempt to understand the creative process.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

At the End of the Day (2000)

50 minutes
Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Ayelet Bargur

Four young men, all commanders in the same Israeli Defense Force Golan Heights paratrooper unit, were killed over a twenty-two month period from 1995 to 1997. Their families, realizing they all suffer a common fate, agree to meet and share their stories. With great sensitivity and skill, director Ayelet 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. This painful subject is one that touches many Israeli families today.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

David Rubinger: Eyewitness (1998)

50 minutes
Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Micha Shagrir 

David Rubinger, recipient of the Israel Prize for Photography and the Time-Life photographer whose images of Israel over the past 50 years has shaped the world's perception of the state, began to photograph in 1947. He has covered nearly every important event in Israel’s history. Through his camera lens, he has been an eyewitness to the dramatic events that took place in Israel throughout the years. Among his most famous photographs are of the crew of the "Bat Galim" ship that tried to break the blockade of the Suez Canal in 1955; a mother and two daughters in kibbutz Gadot after their home was hit by a Syrian rocket in 1967; Ella Yosefi of Bet Shean after the news of a terrorist attack at the town school in 1970; a female soldier during the 1973 war treating the wounded; and perhaps best known, the three soldiers at the Western Wall in June 1967. In this film, Rubinger journeys back to the places and people he has photographed during the years, and leads the viewers to a better understanding of the contemporary Israeli reality. Rubinger’s pictures represent his own life story, professional views and experiences, but mainly his great love for the country and its people.

Contact Info: Tapuz and Shiba Communications
Address:
34 Allenby St.
Tel-Aviv 63552
Israel
Telephone: 972-3-516-6030
Fax: 972-3-516-6040
Email: tapuzltd@netvision.net.il

 

Israel: A Nation is Born (1997)

360 minutes
An Israel Heritage/WNET Production
Producer and Director: Neville Meyer
Narrator: Abba Eban

This television mini-series, originally 5 episodes, was released in 1992.  In 1997, it was re-released with an additional episode and in again in 2002, as a boxed DVD set. Abba Eban, an Israeli diplomat and politician who served as foreign minister during Israel's Six Day War,  presents the story of modern Israel through both historical events and personal, firsthand recollections of many of those who lived them, using international newsreels, archival film footage, and photographs as well as both modern and vintage interviews that, while heavily weighted toward the Zionists and eventual Israelis, also include those of world Arab leaders and local Arab citizens. About the series, Eban said, "the series is designed to provide an essential context to an inspiring human story."
 The episodes include:
From the Rise of Zionism to 1948
The Creation of the State 1948-56
Coming of Age 1956-67
Six Days That Changed the Middle East 1967-73
New Conflicts, New Dreams 1973-90
On the Brink of Peace—added in 1997 

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: Home Vision Entertainment 
Also available for Purchase from: Amazon.com; WGBH

 

The Old Stores (2006)

53 minutes
Israel, Hebrew, Arabic with English subtitles 
Producer and Director: Yoav Gurfinkel

The documentary tells the story of aging "Mom and Pop" stores that have survived in the ever-changing, dynamic city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa . This non-political  film looks nostalgically at the passage of time—the clinging to traditions and old world values in an age of modernization and provides a rare glimpse of the everyday concerns of real Israelis without the filter of the Arab-Israeli conflict that often colors the images we see from there.

Contact Info: JMT Films, Distribution and Sales
General Manager, Michael Treves 
Email: Jmtreves@012.net.il

 

Too Close to Home (1995)

50 minutes
Israel, Color, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer: Talia Goshen
Director: Ori Inbar

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 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. All five live in the Golan, and were among the first to settle in the area after it changed from Syrian to Israeli hands.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Underdogs: A War Movie (1996)

86 minutes
Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer: Avi Armoza
Directors: Doron Tsabori and Rino Zror

Underdogs is a documentary about the soccer mania that hits Beit She'an, a small working-class Israeli town near the Jordanian border, when the local team prepares for their last crucial game of the season. Beit She’an's team must defeat the rich, national champions 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, and minorities and the ruling class.

Purchasing & Rental Instructions: http://www.brandeis.edu/jewishfilm/Catalogue/ordering.htm
Contact Info (phone, fax): 
Telephone: (781) 899-7044
Fax: (781) 736-2070

 

Unsettled (2007)

80 minutes
USA, English, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Adam Hootnick

This documentary about Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza focuses on three young Israelis who are expelled from their homes, two of the Israeli soldiers who are sent to evict them, and an activist who tries to raise public support for the withdrawal, despite her sister’s murder by Palestinian terrorists. It tells the story about young Israelis on the front lines of a battle where there is no winner.

To organize a public screening of the film, contact:
Tony@resonancepictures.com


To be notified when DVD's become available to public, contact:
info@resonancepictures.com

 

Zaka: Living With Death (2004)

47 minutes
Israel, English
Producer and Director: Noam Shalev

Two suicide bombers detonate their bombs in a busy shopping area in the center of Tel Aviv. The aftermath is horrific. Enter the ZAKA team. Black plastic bags in hand, they scour the area, intent on finding everything down to the last fingernail. Their mission: To collect every piece of flesh, every scrap of hair, left after a suicide bombing. Always on call, their beepers vibrate seconds after the disaster. They believe in providing the "Chessed Shel Emet" or "true act of kindness"—i.e. a burial for all human remains. They are the ZAKA volunteers. The film follows the ZAKA volunteers in more than two years of suicide bombings in Israel, in their training and when they get the call - to come and take care of the bodies. In February 2004 a group of Zaka volunteers traveled to The Hague with the bombed bus from one of the suicide bombings in Jerusalem.

Contact and Purchasing Information: Highlight Films
Email: info@highlight.co.il
For information about screenings: noam@highlight.co.il

 

6. Israel and the Media

David Rubinger: Eyewitness (1998)

50 minutes
Israel, Hebrew with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Micha Shagrir 

David Rubinger, recipient of the Israel Prize for Photography and the Time-Life photographer whose images of Israel over the past 50 years has shaped the world's perception of the state, began to photograph in 1947. He has covered nearly every important event in Israel’s history. Through his camera lens, he has been an eyewitness to the dramatic events that took place in Israel throughout the years. Among his most famous photographs are of the crew of the "Bat Galim" ship that tried to break the blockade of the Suez Canal in 1955; a mother and two daughters in kibbutz Gadot after their home was hit by a Syrian rocket in 1967; Ella Yosefi of Bet Shean after the news of a terrorist attack at the town school in 1970; a female soldier during the 1973 war treating the wounded; and perhaps best known, the three soldiers at the Western Wall in June 1967. In this film, Rubinger journeys back to the places and people he has photographed during the years, and leads the viewers to a better understanding of the contemporary Israeli reality. Rubinger’s pictures represent his own life story, professional views and experiences, but mainly his great love for the country and its people.

Contact Info: Tapuz and Shiba Communications
Address:
34 Allenby St.
Tel-Aviv 63552
Israel
Telephone: 972-3-516-6030
Fax: 972-3-516-6040
Email: tapuzltd@netvision.net.il

 

Décryptage (2002)
*Click herefor CAMERA review of film 

100 minutes
France, French with English subtitles
Producer: Sophie DULAC Productions
Directors: Jacques Tarnero and Philippe Bensoussan

Décryptage, or "Decoding" in English, caused a sensation when it debuted in France in 2002, filling theaters with (often mostly Jewish) patrons dismayed at media treatment of Israel, "the epicenter of a world passion," as one of the film’s interviewees put it. American audiences too will find a riveting, thoughtful and relevant portrayal of how the Arab-Israeli conflict is presented.

The DVD is available for purchase online in PAL (European) format, but not in NTSC (American)  format.  It can be viewed on a multi-region (PAL/NTSC) DVD player:

To purchase online: Amazon.com

 

Jenin: Massacring the Truth (2004)

60 minutes
Canada, English
Producer and Director: Martin Himel 

This documentary explores the damaging myth and underlying media bias against Israel. Jenin was the suicide bomb making capital in the West Bank. When the Israeli military took over Jenin, much of European and world media claimed Israel committed war crimes and massacres in the city—far from the carnage and massacre broadcast by the media. "Massacring the Truth" examines what actually happened in Jenin, how it was transformed into a massacre myth, and how that myth is perpetuating a new brand of anti-Semitism.

Contact Information:
Elsash Productions Ltd.
45 St. Clair Avenue West, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4V 1L3

Telephone: (416) 880-3371
Fax: (416) 967-4372
Emails: martin@elsash-tv.com
inna@elsash-tv.com
camilla@elsash-tv.com
bette@elsash-tv.com
avital@elsash-tv.com

 

Shooting Conflicts (2003)

48 minutes
Israel, English  
Producers: Noam Shalev and Yosi Leon
Director: Noam Shalev

For seven years, Alon Bernstein, an Israeli TV news journalist working for AP and Jimmy Michael, a Palestinian TV journalist working for BBC, have gathered the news, witnessing events from opposite sides of the conflict, filming terrorist attacks, military occupation, aftermaths of suicide bombings, peace initiatives and human suffering. Their views and opinions are shaped and formed by personal, direct encounters with the events, undiluted by the editorial bias that dictates the daily TV news seen all over the world.  In "Shooting Conflicts," the pair reveal their first hand experiences in forthright interviews with the filmmaker.

Contact and Purchasing Information: Highlight Films
Email: info@highlight.co.il
For information about screenings: noam@highlight.co.il

 

The Road to Jenin (2002)
*Click herefor CAMERA review of film 

53 minutes
English, Arabic, Hebrew and French with English subtitles
Producer and Director: Pierre Rehov

In "The Road to Jenin," filmmaker Pierre Rehov's clear purpose is to expose the inflammatory–and defamatory–falsehoods spread by works like "Jenin, Jenin." As such his film does not attempt to be an overview of the Israeli and Palestinian experience in Jenin or an exhaustive account of IDF conduct. Nevertheless, the information that Rehov does provide is based on interviewees who use bona fide images and documents to substantiate their claims.

Contact Information: Pierre Rehov.com
To purchase online: Katrina Productions

 

8. Islamic Radicalism 

Islam versus Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center  (2007)

52 minutes 
USA, English
Producer and Director: Martyn Burke

"Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center" and its companion documentary, "Muslims Against Jihad," tell the story of courageous anti-Islamist Muslims in Western Europe, Canada and the United States and the extraordinary challenges they face in taking on adherents to the theo-totalitarian ideology known as Islamism. What is happening to these moderates – who are being ostracized, bankrupted, intimidated and, in some cases, threatened with death – offers critical insights into the dangers that both they and non-Muslims are facing. These films also suggest steps that can and must be taken to help empower the anti-Islamist Muslims in the struggle for their faith.

Contact Information: Islam vs. Islamists Documentary

To purchase DVD, click here.

 

Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West (2005)

60 minutes  (DVD: 77 minutes)
USA, English, Arabic, Farsi
Producer: Raphael Shore
Director: Wayne Kopping

Using images from Arab TV, rarely seen in the West, "Obsession" reveals the hatred radical Islamists are teaching, their incitement of global jihad, and their goal of world domination. The film observes the parallels between radical Islamists and the Nazi Party during the War, specifically Adolf Hitler's relationship with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem as an inspiration for radical Islamic movements in the Middle East today. Featuring first-hand accounts from a former PLO terrorist, a Nazi youth commander, and the daughter of a martyred guerilla leader, as well as analysis from prominent counter-terrorism experts, the film demonstrates the real threat that radical Islamists pose to the West.

Contact Information: Obsession: The Movie

To arrange for campus screenings, email campus@obsessionthemovie.com
To arrange for a general screening, email screenings@obsessionthemovie.com
To purchase a DVD, or pay per view, click here.