"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.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lia van Leer -- In Memory

Lia van Leer was a unique individual who succeeded in establishing new institutions, inspired by her own vision and passion. In a country where film had been primarily seen as a form of entertainment or a means of propaganda, van Leer, through her untiring efforts, has helped change that image and raise filmmaking and film appreciation to a new level. As a result, film is now seen as an expression of culture and art, and is funded as such by government agencies.

She passed away last night at the age of 90. May she rest in peace.

I worked for Lia for 15 years.  During that time, I learned a tremendous amount from a greater-than-life woman who was obsessed and committed to her work.  She especially expressed interest and encouragement in two big projects which I curated -- the Yiddish Film Festival (in cooperation with the National Center for Jewish Film in Waltham, Massachusetts) and the establishment of the annual Jewish Film Festival.  She always saw Jewish and Yiddish film as a commemoration to her parents who she lost in the Shoah. 

Winner of the Israel Prize for her contribution to the field of cinema in Israel, she is remembered for establishing the Haifa Cinematheque, the Jerusalem Cinematheque, the Israel Film Archive and the Jerusalem International Film Festival.

Please see the biography that I wrote about her for the Jewish Women's Archive on-line. 

[the text of this biography was approved by Lia when it was written about 10 years ago]

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