Cinema and Zionism

The Development of a Nation through Film

By Ariel L. Feldestein

Contributions by: Merav Pagis

This book examines the connections between the cinema of the Yishuv (Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine) and the Zionist idea. The book follows the plans to create the figure of the New Jew in Eretz Yisrael, as part of a personal, national, and universal revolution, and it explores the figure and traits of the pioneer. It also examines how cinema has presented the Zionist idea. Cinema and Zionism analyzes the plots, the modes of expression, the themes, and the ideological elements that typify these films, and it positions them within the structure of the Zionist idea. It also engages with connections between the Zionist idea and the cinema through a discussion on the cinematic endeavors and the relationships between the filmmakers and national institutions. The correlation between the two histories is revealed with all its complexity and depth. The book sheds light on a distinctive perspective in the narrative of Eretz Yisrael - that of the creation and consumption of a new culture. The tales of working on the films - how they were prepared and shot, and their ultimate reception - are interwoven with outlines of the films themselves. Together, they create a portrait of an ideological society that distilled events and incidents into myths aimed at forging the Zionist outlook and instructing Zionist settlers toward fulfilling its goals. "...explicit, enlightening, and, at times, even provocative. It deals with the complex and still relevant issue of Zionist leaders' relationships between the American-Jewish institutions and the latter's approach to what was to become the State of Israel, including their attempts to shape the destiny of the nation-in-waiting through the first Jewish films produced in Palestine". Yael Munk, H-Judaic, H-Net Reviews, November 2012


226 pages

Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9780853038955