The Israeli documentary film catalog
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17 Beginnings of Talia
Through seventeen decisively varying styles of observation, director Yoni Bentovim delves into the essence and meaning of discourse between mother and son – a dialogue that transcends words and time. Ultimately this not a film about 17 beginnings but a film about one ending - definite, clear and known in advance. Talia Shapira - national figure and celebrated actress, torn between her conflicting roles in life and art, is faced with the toughest role of all, how to say good-bye to her son.
SEVEN DAYS IN ST. PETERSBURG S
Liza hasn’t seen her son Leonid, for 12 years. Now she is flying to St. Petersburg to bring him back to Israel. What Leonid refuses to accept is the price that he must pay for returning - a year and a half in jail.
It is a poetic, delicate film about the relationship between parent and child, and the nature of dependency between them that is prone to change as time goes by.
Shores of Light, Salento 1945-7
This is the unknown post-WWII story about Jewish Survivors on their way to the Land of Israel. On the sunny shores of Southern Italy thousands of Survivors were received with warmth and compassion by the very poor local Italians. Hundreds of children were born there symbolizing a new beginning. Three Israeli women, born in Santa-Maria-di-Leuca (1946), decide to discover the footprints left by their parents in Italy. Enchanted by the place and the people they realize what these Shores of Light meant for their parents. Integrated i n the film are unique testimonies and archival footage enriching this captivating saga.
The Israeli Superhero
“The Hebrew Superhero” is a cinematic journey into the world of Israeli comics, directed by Shaul Betzer. The film explores the image of the Israeli hero and Israeli identity – from Uri Muri, the first Israeli comics hero created in 1936 by Aryeh Navon and Leah Goldberg, to modern-day heroes, such as Dudu Geva’s giant yellow duck and characters by Shay Charka and Daniella London Dekel, among others. Israeli comics, which had long been on the sidelines of the country’s culture, have become gradually more popular. They have also grown increasingly important in shedding light on the complexities and contradictions of Israeli identity. Artists interviewed here include Zeev Engelmayer, Dudu Geva, Daniella London Dekel, Shay Charka, Michel Kichka, Asaf Hanuka and author Etgar Keret.
Once Upon a Time There Was a King
Nissim Aloni was the a king of the Hebrew theater. The magical realm he created on stage brimmed with imagination and poetry, giving voice and vision to the loftiest of dreams. But in a world dominated by a mundane, populist democracy and controlled by functionaries, Aloni found himself a king without a kingdom, without an audience, without critics, and without theater managers who believed in his whimsical dreams.
In the last decade 8 Israeli scientists were awarded a Nobel Prize. Their personal achievements were triumphed as a validated proof for the revival of the Jewish Genius in Israel. But after the festivities ended, a question still remains; how many of us know or understand why they won, and what it has to do with our life's and collective identity.
Here I am: The Story of the Caucasus Spriit
The fascinating story of the Caucasus community in Israel beginning from the early days of Zionism until nowadays as told through famous events and heroic leaders such as the late General Yekutiel Adam, Deputy Chief of Staff.
The film unfolds the history of the Caucasus Jews from the Basel Congress on 1897, immigrating and actively defending the first settlements in Palestine until gradually forming and building what is known today as the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
The film follows the inspirational General Yekutiel Adam, Deputy Chief of Staff who died in the First Lebanon War. He was a landmark leader and role model in the Caucasian community and outside it, and motivated many youth to follow his path to defend and contribute Israel.
This film reveals the untold story of the Caucasus community in Israel which is a significant partner in building the Israeli society and army.
The Binding Of Yitzhak
Did Yigal Amir know that during the Security Agency’s initial interrogation, on the night he assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, he was almost killed by the "Shabak" agent charged with protecting him?
Neither Amir nor any of the other Security Agency ("Shabak") agents knew that Dvir, the young "Shabak" agent charged with protecting Amir in the interrogation facility, was in possession of a loaded gun.
This is the first time this story has been told. Dvir conveys the failure of the “Jewish Unit” to prevent Rabin’s murder; a failure that he tried to erase with his quest to kill Yigal Amir.
Taking a Breath
A glimpse into the lives of the protagonists short film, "Breathing Easy", the film shows the CF. CF's lives through the seven-year-old Adi and Tal twenty-eight years old. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease, chronic asthma, but requires life long treatment. Over the years, managed to extend the life of the CF patients. Movie, "Breathing Easy", we accompany the personal lives of Adi, Tal, and their families that being with them, along the disease. Tel married and gave birth to twins last year, and witnesses live normal girl's life alongside intensive treatment the disease and both continue to fight the disease, until they find a cure.
Wings of Change
This is a film about one billion birds and one rare bird. About an unusual species that
simultaneously conducts dozens of projects with the determination of a bulldozer.
“Mr. Birdman” Prof. Yossi Leshem, a lightly religious, tall, authoritative man with a
rugged Israeli charm and the persuasion skills of a salesman who doesn’t take no for
ALL THAT REMAINS
Once she realizes her death is imminent, Liora, a 54 years old woman, decides to organize her departure from life with no compromises. As a doctor of philosophy in Biology, she treats her upcoming death as if it was a scientific project. She creates a \"Finalize and Overlap\" folder in her computer, in where she lists all the tasks she wants to accomplish before her approaching death. A year after her passing away, we meet her family and reveal if her plan was successful. Is it possible to plan the unpredictable? Can facing death be also a vivid experience?
“Broke” is the story of four successful women in their fifties, who believed in education and hard work. They did all the right things, but they still lost their jobs and joined the circle of poverty. They are all at their prime in terms of ability and experience, but the world seems to have lost interest in them. The very idea that, “There is no such thing as an embarrassing job,” becomes a cruel fact, when one of them, a former manager, has to work as an assistant in a day care center or as a housekeeper. The women show what life looks like when people become poor. They are overwhelmed by anxiety, worried that they still have thirty years ahead of them, with no pension, no property and no way to make a living. How can anyone possibly get through that? These four women struggle to survive economically and maintain their self-esteem. Even if it goes against all odds, they must reinvent themselves.
The film focuses on women that are defined in the media as "the collapsing middle class" and pulls apart this label, to reveal naked, brave lives. Four 45-50 year old's that excelled in their fields followed their dream believed in education and hard work, did everything right – and were still forcibly kicked out of the work force, and joined the circle of poverty. The four women never stop fighting, each in her own way; to survive financially – but also to preserve their sense of self. Against all odds, they fight to overcome the void and re-invent themselves.
Mati Caspi - Confession
A confession-film in which Matti Caspi, a leading Israeli musician, reveals a lifetime of struggle. A musically gifted child who suffered from polio, raised in a family without love in a kibbutz in the 1950's, through the days of military band, musical hits, stardom after which came an endless downfall. Family, economic and media crises that led to his escape from Israel to America that included refuge with Jehovah's Witnesses and the establishment of a new family even though he was still married. The film ends with Matti's return to center stage after years of struggle.
So many people still wax nostalgic about that old Friday night ritual when everyone would watch the Arabic-language Movie of the Week. But did anybody ever wonder why Israel’s official TV station, insisted on showing movies made by “the enemy”? The films let us peek out from our “villa in the jungle” and catch a glimpse at our neighbors across the border. But most of us didn’t really want to see those people, whose culture, anguish, and aspirations flickered on our screens.