"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.


Friday, April 2, 2010

When is a name more than a name?

These are My Names, by Ruth Mason and Naomi Miller Altaraz, is a brief look at the importance and meanings of the names of the Jews who came from Ethiopia. Their names carry blessings, family stories, and links to the grandparents that were left behind, and they have multiple names which reflect the richness of their culture. We meet Prince, Flowers of Paradise, Prized Possession and others.

The film offers interviews with many young Ethiopian Jews talking about the names they were given by their parents, how their names were changed by absorption officials and educators when they came to Israel, the importance of their names, some talking about the trek from Ethiopia to Sudan.

Zoe (seen in the photo) is a compelling and articulate woman, a clothing designer, who shares her memories of the terrible trek, and provocatively asks, what was it all for?

Watch a trailer of the film!

This is a short film (30 minutes) which might prove effective if programmed together with another documentary which can add much drama and emotion, such as The Name My Mother Gave Me. Both films are available from Ruth Diskin Films.