Israeli Film: A Reference Guide

By Amy Kronish; Costel Safirman | Go to book overview

A NATIONAL CINEMA IN THE MAKING: AN OVERVIEW

Since its inception, Israeli cinema has been preoccupied with issues of a society under siege—the hardships of a situation of ongoing war, problems of JewishArab relations, and the major survival issues of the state. Despite this focus, Israeli filmmaking is in fact much more complex and varied. Indeed, Israeli cinema covers a wide spectrum of issues that have developed during the more than 70 years since the first local production of a feature film in 1932.

Filmmaking in Israel, as in other countries, is a contemporary cultural form of expression and also a political and social expression, reflecting more than the personal point of view of each filmmaker and producer and providing a commentary on social trends, historical challenges, and societal issues. Although films can be considered as individual pieces of work, the thrust of this overview is to show how an understanding of Israeli society can be garnered through a careful analysis of the subject matter, issues, and styles of expression of this unique medium. This analysis provides the reader with a better understanding of Israeli cinema as a national cinema in the making—one that has been developing since its infancy during the early British Mandatory period and flourishing in recent years.


THE BRITISH MANDATORY PERIOD

Filmmaking began in British Mandatory Palestine following World War I with an emphasis on documentary production. This period was characterized by ideological and informational films that were produced to convince foreign audiences of the success of the Jewish pioneering enterprise in Palestine at that time. The films of the period reflected the great enthusiasm for the idealism and

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Israeli Film: A Reference Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Series Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • A National Cinema in the Making: An Overview 1
  • Israeli Films 23
  • The Men and Women of Israeli Film 161
  • Appendix - International Awards Won by Israeli Feature Films 223
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index of Film Titles 229
  • Index of Personalities 239
  • Index of Subjects 259
  • About the Authors 263
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