"World Cinema: Israel"

My book, "World Cinema: Israel" (originally published in 1996) is available from Amazon on "Kindle", with an in-depth chapter comparing and analyzing internationally acclaimed Israeli films up to 2010.

Want to see some of the best films of recent years? Just scroll down to "best films" to find listings of my recommendations.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The story of a Jewish family -- past and present

Rafting to Bombay רפסודה לבומביי directed by Erez Laufer

In 1940, the filmmaker's father, Nahum, was a child when he fled with his mother from Czanov, Poland, to Italy, where they met up with his father. From there they fled to Turkey, planning to get to Israel illegally. Circumstance led them to Baghdad, where there was a pogrom against the Jews, and then by raft along the Tigris River to Bombay, where they lived for seven years. During the years that the family lived in India, they opened a business and felt comfortable there. They left Bombay and came to Palestine, just before the establishment of the State of Israel.

It is November 2008 and the Laufer family travels to Bombay to revisit the scene of Nahum's childhood and for a reunion with some of his early acquaintances. Having fled from the Nazis to Bombay where they found a safe haven before coming to Israel, they return sixty years later for a visit, only to encounter an Islamic terrorist attack against the Chabad House of Mumbai. In this attack, the Chabad rabbi and his wife were murdered.

This documentary film tells the story of one Jewish family and at the same time, it is an emotional and hard-hitting story of the Jewish people – past and present.

Rafting to Bombay (documentary, 2009, 70 minutes) premiered at the Jerusalem Film Festival (2009) and is being screened this month at Cinematheques all over Israel. It is available from Erez Laufer Films .

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