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  • 60 Years Later, A Treasure Trove of Films

    by Christian Niedan

    israel_flagdocent.jpgThe 60th anniversary of Israel’s Declaration of Independence is May 14th, and today marks the official celebration of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day! Celebrate by taking a look at some of TJC’s films about Israel. With six full decades of history and culture to draw from, it’s no surprise that the films in our Israel category are as diverse as they are entertaining and informative.

    Violence stemming from land disputes between Arabs and Jews is a primary concern within the country. So, in his landmark documentary series Land of the Settlers, Israeli newsman Chaim Yavin starts taking sides in the complicated debate over the withdrawal of Jewish settlements from Gaza and the West Bank, visiting the homes of both Arabs and Jews living in the disputed territories.

    The origins of these settlement communities stretch back to decisions made by political figures like Moshe Dayan. In Slaves of the Sword: Moshe Dayan, we get an up-close and personal look at the flamboyant and controversial Israeli Defense Minister. With testimony from both supporters and critics, the legacy of Dayan’s decisions are painted in vivid color.

    But for today’s ground-level IDF soldier, the only shade that really matters is green. Among the young conscripts who choose to break their silence in At The Green Line, the politics of protecting Israel’s borders are not always clear-cut. Some refuse to serve, while others try to change the system from inside.

    Israel’s not only inhabited by Jews and Arabs, though. Amongst the┬ácountry’s diverse population is a small group of African-American immigrants who practice Old Testament tradition and call themselves African Hebrews. The revival of polygamous marriage practices among this community is explored in Sister Wife. And while embracing a new spouse may make a husband happy, we see how it can also make a wife feel like a second fiddle.

    Issues of sexual needs vs. family acceptance are not restricted to new immigrants either. The travails of being both Orthodox and secretly gay in modern Israel are captured with emotional detail in Say Amen. Within a close-knit Moroccan-Israeli family where producing children is a paramount value, one man struggles to confess his homosexuality to those closest to him.

    To see these and more films focusing on the promised land, head over to TJC’s Israel category for a current slate of provocative and engaging titles.

    May 8, 2008 | Read more Docent posts. No Comments »

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