In 2010 the Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar made a documentary about a Gazan family that brings their baby for a life-saving transplant in an Israeli hospital. The movie is built with great sensitivity and an eye for painful irony and complexity galore.
Here Dr Raz Somech explains the story behind the film, at the Montreal Film Festival.
At one point the mother asserts that she would be happy if her child under treatment were to grow up to be a suicide bomber – to the horror of Eldar. As the full story unfolds, we learn of the difference between the mother’s pronouncements for fear of Hamas reprisals, and her true respect and affection for Israel and its doctors. If these struggles were not enough, during the treatment, their doctor is called up for reserve duty – fighting in Gaza. For a full synopsis, read here.
For a community or campus wishing to delve into the human heart of the complexities of Israel and Gaza’s desperate embrace, Precious Life is an excellent place to start.
We recommend providing free coffee at a nearby cafe after the screening, and putting these place-mats on each table. In this way discussion can be encouraged without being forced.
The guide was first created for the screening at JW3.
In order to obtain a copy of the film contact Bleiberg Entertainment
A beautiful documentary about the Idan Reichel Project on their first visit to Ethiopia. The movie follows the whole band, but in particular the experiences of the two Ethiopian-Israelis, one of whom has memories of his life in Ethiopia, and the other who remembers nothing. A wonderful exploration of music, home, and identity.
The film is available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Shmuel Goldberg is a 40-something Israeli, the son of Holocaust survivors, who was raised with an aversion to all things German — German products, German culture. And of course, he was taught never to visit Germany.
But when a man enters his used car lot wanting to sell a collector’s-item 1985 metallic blue Lincoln Continental, which would bring in a cool profit if Shmuel would only transport the car to Germany for resale, Shmuel smells a “big score”… and can’t resist. To Full Post
The story of Yom Kippur on Kibbutz Beth Hashita
What happens to a small close-knit community when 11 of its members are buried in one day?
What forms of mourning and meaning are available to this community, when religion is foresworn? And when the 11 young men all died fighting for Israel in the Yom Kippur war, how should their secular kibbutz now relate to Yom Kippur?
The DVD with English subtitles is available from Makom for a fee of $60, which includes shipping and rights for one public screening – email@example.com
For $2.50 you can obtain the sheet music of Josh Jacobson’s choral arrangement from here… To Full Post
A Touch Away – the award-winning TV Series
A forbidden love story between secular Russian Israeli, Zorik, and his ultra-orthodox neighbor, Rochele. This beautifully acted, sensitively directed, and intelligently scripted Israeli TV series draws us inside two different aspects of Israel: the world of a Russian émigré family, and the world of a Bnei Brak haredi family. As the series develops, our stereotypes are filled out with nuance, our assumptions and expectations spin, as we wait with bated breath to see whether a crazy Romeo and Juliet-type love can conquer all!
What is the Touch Away Project?
This is an innovative project that develops a unique collaboration between independent home-based activity, and public communal events.
- The first seven episodes of the TV series Touch Away are distributed to 20 key connectors in the community, for them to see at home at their convenience.
- All are encouraged to view the episodes with friends, and to hand on the DVDs to others when they are finished.
- The series spreads virally throughout the community.
- The final cliff-hung episode #8 is screened at a public event in the congregation – all those who saw episode 1 thru 7 in private will be drawn to see the final episode together. To Full Post
Waltz with Bashir is an astonishing work of art that sets fire to the deep human questions emerging from contemporary Israel. In our desire to encourage the Jewish world to engage with Israel through support combined with critique – what we call ‘hugging and wrestling’ – we cannot recommend this movie highly enough. Go see it! And if you’ve already seen it, go see it again!
However beyond experiencing the film, we would like to encourage you to talk and continue to think about it…
To this end we have developed the Makom Film Guide for Waltz with Bashir.
This documentary film created by Paula Weiman-Kelman follows American Jews visiting Israel. The production approached Makom to write a guide. We focused on specific moments, certain people, particular comments, and draw questions from them.
The guide is available in full, and also as placemats to put on tables in the local cafe after the screening, to allow for guided yet freely-managed conversations.