"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.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two films by Moran Ifergan

Today I want to write about Moran Ifergan, a promising young documentary filmmaker who I had the chance to meet as part of a dialogue program for Jews and Arabs that I ran while working at the Jerusalem International YMCA. I have chosen to review here two of her films which were produced while she was studying at the Sam Spiegel School of Film and Television.
Jewish Negroes – KMS (48 minutes, 2010) is a documentary about the members of a rap band from Rehovot, young men of Ethiopian descent. They are the KMS band and they give voice to angry feelings about what it's like being a black Jew growing up in Israel. Their music is really great and the audience loves them!
The viewer gets a sense of the foul language, the petty crime, the violence, the discontent, the poverty and, at the same time, the dreams of wealth and respect. They sing, we are "tired of the struggle, tired of the misunderstanding." This is a tragic story about the younger generation of Ethiopian Jews, growing up with both poverty and racism.
What happens to the members of the band who are unable to find their place within Israeli society?
The film is available for world sales from Cinephil
In her film, My Sister Riki (30 minutes, 2009), the filmmaker turns the camera to her own sister, Riki, who lives in Beersheba, married, with two children. Riki's older son is about to celebrate his bar mitzvah.
Riki is a bright woman who is capable of stepping back and looking at her own life with a critical and insightful eye. She feels that she has made many mistakes, not having had any education and not having a profession. Although she is a good-looking woman and she has a moment of pride as all of their friends and relatives come to celebrate at the bar mitzvah party, Riki expresses despair over the dreams that she seems unable to fulfill. The film provides a glimpse into the everyday life of a woman who married young and is watching as her relationship with her husband is slowly disintegrating.
The film is available from the Sam Spiegel School of Film and Television

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