Burning the Self in the Community Bonfire: Joseph Cedar's Campfire

By Ginsburg, Shai | Tikkun, July/August 2005 | Go to article overview

Burning the Self in the Community Bonfire: Joseph Cedar's Campfire


Ginsburg, Shai, Tikkun


Burning the Self in the Community Bonfire: Joseph Cedar's Campfire

The year is 1981. Under the aegis of Menachem Begin's first government and, in particular, of its Minister of Agriculture, Ariel Sharon, the right-wing settlement movement enthusiastically looks forward to prospects of unprecedented construction and growth in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. At the same time, the movement finds itself in an escalating conflict with the very same government over the terms of the Israeli-Egyptian peace accord, the proposed Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, and the dismantling of the Jewish settlements there. Moving back and forth between construction sites and protest marches, the settlers highlight the link between the desire to build a home-personal as well as national-and the struggle over the borders and boundaries of the State of Israel.

In the Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayit Va-Gan, a hub of the national-religious camp, Rachel Gerlik has just ended a year of mourning over her husband, and she and her two teenage daughters, Tami and Esti, struggle to rebuild their home and family and to redefine their relationships with their friends and their community. Eager to assert her position within her community and fearful of being left alone, Rachel seeks to join the founding group of a new settlement in Samaria to which many of her friends belong. Yet, the acceptance committee, headed by her friend Motke, a prominent figure in the Religious-Nationalist camp, is reluctant to admit her as a full member.

Joseph Cedar's Campfire follows the Gerlik women as they are caught between their personal needs on the one hand, and communal values and ideals on the other. While in his earlier film Time of Favor (2000), Cedar focused on the political dangers of right-wing religious radicalism, in his new film he puts into relief the personal price paid by those who do not fit the ideals of their Religious-Nationalist community.

Early in Campfire, the acceptance committee interviews candidate couples for the new settlement. "Why would you like to join the new settlement? " they are asked. "We feel that this is the need of the hour," they respond, but also, they immediately add, "quality of life for the kids; we couldn't afford that in the city." "It's really important to us to have a house with a lawn," another couple stresses. "And who would you like your neighbors to be?" is the next question. "People like us," they all agree. "People like you," answers Rachel at the end of her interview. The settlers are thus motivated less by their ideological commitment to the ideal of the greater Israel than by the bourgeois dream of moving from their apartments to a house with a lawn and their desire to distance themselves from those who are unlike them.

Who are the people from whom the settlers of Campfire would like to dissociate themselves? Most directly, they are women like Rachel. In the absence of a husband and a father, her family is seen as incomplete. Without a husband, she is told, her family cannot participate fully in settlement life: "it is one less man for the duty guard, one less man for the prayer quorum," Motke tells her. As Rachel discovers, her friends' empathy for her loss does not lead them to include her as an equal member in the community; on the contrary, as a woman and single mother in a religious society, she finds herself marginalized and even excluded. She therefore yields to her friends' pleas and agrees to date men with whom they match her.

The first is Yossi Moraly, a fifty-year-old bus driver who has never married. During one of their conversations, he admits to Rachel that he has never even slept with a woman. As a bachelor, he cannot find his place within his religious community, and he finds himself ever more removed from his sisters and friends whose lives revolve around the ideal of the family. The second is the self-centered and pompous Moshe Weinstock, a world-renowned cantor. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Burning the Self in the Community Bonfire: Joseph Cedar's Campfire
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.