"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.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Social Crisis, Chauvanism and Anarchy

Much has been written about the waning of the mythic Israeli chauvinism.  Israeli men are now more in touch with their emotions; they are sympathetic and understanding of family issues; they want to just live normal lives, etc. etc.  However, Israeli macho chauvinism is alive and well in the new Israeli feature film, The Policeman, directed by Nadav Lapid (not to be confused with the earlier Israeli film of the same title by Ephraim Kishon), which opened at local movie theaters this week.

This new film is about a crisis in society. Produced long before the social protest movement of August 2011, the film reflects a social crisis and portrays a desire to even the playing field when it comes to class issues within Israeli society.

Yaron is a married man. His wife is expecting their first baby.  He is a member of an elite anti-terrorist squad.  The guys in his unit are committed to each other.  They are highly trained assassins and are willing to sacrifice for one another.  In fact, one of their own, who is suffering from a tumor in his brain, is asked by the group to take the fall for the killing of civilians who were shot when the unit was on assignment assassinating a terrorist in an Arab village.   

About half way through the film, the story switches gears and becomes the tale of a Jewish anarchist group, which is planning to take hostages at the wedding of children of wealthy industrialists.  It is quite obvious that the anti-terrorist unit will be sent in to take out these young and naïve believers in class equality. But the ending is not really predictable, in fact, it is quite surprising.  

Would it ever be possible in contemporary society for the police and the social activists to come together and to understand each other?  

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