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University of Toronto St. George
Center for Jewish Studies

Introduction to Israeli Cinema • The cinema evolved around the same time as Israeli nation Cinema was used as a way to ask Jews to join the national revolt • • 20th century-television wasn't prominent until to early 90‘s Early Cinema • Scripted in english for north American audiences • Showed warriors fighting for their nation • Director- Yaakov Ben Dov immigrated from the Ukraine was one Israelis first directors • Self confessed zionist • Used his own money to create films • Did it to help to national cause Oded the Wanderer-movie • first big picture film-silent • set in the zionist landscape Baruch Agadati-this is the land-movie • Combination of other films full integrated feature film with talking • • images of collective settlement; glorified the jewish settlement • Emphasized zionist movement Characteristics of early films Construction, athleticism,farming are highlighted in early films • • men and women stances- making it seem unstoppable • Contrast between wasteland and the pioneers • Zionist and global influences Zionist parties gave funds to make more films • • Arab characters portrayed as a noble savages • Sporadic jews and gays were marginalized Films of 1949 Started favoring the warrior • • Shifting away from the pioneer • Hill 24 doesn't answer-bloody struggle for jewish independence Films of the 1960-70’s • films become more normalized • israeli film was expanding its perimeter • feature films had less idealistic plots • Eldorado was first in a series of cheaply made box office hits Ethnic films- showed the lives of new comers to the country Bourekas films-they were mostly made cheap and quickly and were not high quality; on the perimeters • focused was the inter-ethnic tensions • showed social integrated Endorsed the melting pot quality • • homogenous society • Portrayed stereotypes • Shallah Shabati- happy ending cultural elite claimed the films were tasteless; preferred to present israeli as a western country • Films of the 60’s • trend called the new sensitivity was formed • answered to burekas and zionist movem
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