What a responsibility you gave me to tell about the israeli
film industry. but I'll give it the old college try.
First try the book by Ella Shohat. ISRAELI CINEMA; EAST/WEST
AND THE POLITICS OF REPRESENTATION for a very good introduction.
The Israeli film industry is relatively small but has produced
over 350 films in the last 45 years. One of the earliest ones was
THEY WERE TEN by Baruch Agati relating the attemp to settle
palestine around 19l0. As a result one genre has been the SETTLING
OF THE LAND and the IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE. Another of course has
been the WAR DRAMA not in the tradtion of THE LONGEST DAY but rather
more personalized small accounts relating to morale,ethics, politics,
battle trauma. The ARAB-ISRALI CONFLICT both civilian and military
has had its fair share as well as ADAPATIONS from contemporary Hebrew
literature. A very popular series of films called LEMON POPSICLE and
made under MENACHEM GOLAN'S film country was a huge success-teen
flicks in short.A unique genre to israel is the BOREKAS FILMS coming
from the name of the puff pastry filled with cheese and sold
everywhere (mainly for breakfast). They usually revolve around the
lower strata in the tel aviv area and tell of day to day life. some
are hilarious but are very peculiar to the specific site and in my
opinion would not travel well. one such is PEEPING TOMS (not the Powell
film) by Uri Zohar who did several films in this genre.
The level if film culture in israel is enormous. A few years ago in
Jerusalem,a city of 400,000 of which 50% comprise a religious non-
movie going public)one could see 16 different films on any given day.
You must keep in mind that American films are considered foreign
films and as many movies are brought in from Europe, U.S. and Far
East. There will b 9 new Israeli films represented at the Jerusalem
film Festival being held from June 30-July ll. A record output.
All films have hebrew and if necessary English subtitles. However, on
Tv non-english speaking films have only Hebrew subtitles.
The following films have been playing for a month or more: IN THE NAME
OF THE FATHER,SHADOWLANDS, FAREWELL THE CONCUBINE, BLUE (POLAND),
SCHINDLER'S LIST,PHILADELPHIA. The HORROR GENRE is not very popular
here and neither is the BASEBALL film. I have to watch these on
I hope I answered some of the questions.
Hebrew University, Jerusalem