If you have missed any of these Israeli film classics, the upcoming holiday season might be a time to catch up! This is NOT an all-inclusive list, but it does provide you with one-stop shopping! All of these classic Israeli films are highly recommended.
These great classics are available from the National Centerfor Jewish Film
- · Blind Man’s Bluff, Aner Preminger, 1993 – the story of a professional young woman who must learn to live not only by the expectations of others but also according to her own needs.
- · House on Chelouche St., Moshe Mizrachi, 1973 – the story of a teenage boy coming of age, set against the background of tension and conflict during the period of the British Mandate, immediately before the War of Independence.
- · I Love You Rosa, Moshe Mizrachi, 1972 – nominated for an Oscar, a love story set during the late 19th century in Jerusalem.
- · Kazablan, Menahem Golan, 1973 – fast-paced, full-fledged musical, highlighted by scenes of marvelously choreographed frenetic dancing, which tells the story of an immigrant from Morocco living in the old slum of Jaffa.
In addition, I recommend these one-hour films also from the collection of the National Center for Jewish Film
- · Documentary: Green Dumpster Mystery, Tal Haim Yaffe, 2008 -- In an ostensibly light tone, which balances the serious subjects in the film -- history and memory, Holocaust and bereavement -- the film tells the story of the director himself, who as he rode his scooter through south Tel Aviv, found a stash of old photographs in a dumpster. In the wake of this find, he sets out on a quest to find the people in the photos.
- · Short Drama: As If Nothing Happened, Ayelet Barger, 1999 – hard-hitting film about what happens in one family following a terrorist attack.
These are available from the IsraeliFilms website
- · Cup Final, Eran Riklis, 1991 – takes place during the 1982 War in Lebanon and explores the themes of male bonding during wartime, and the relationship between captor and captive.
- · Fictitious Marriage (Marriage of Convenience), Haim Bouzaglo, 1988 – explores issues of identity and distrust between Arabs and Jews, a satire containing humorous caricatures of people who want to be what they are not.
- · Halfon Hill Doesn’t Answer, Assi Dayan, 1976 – featuring the Gashash comedy trio, this is a comedy about reserve duty.
- · He Walked Through the Fields, Yosef Milo, 1967 – Originally presented as a stage play in 1948, tells the story of the heroism of the Palmach generation and the pioneering ethic of self-sacrifice.
- · Late Summer Blues, Renen Schorr, 1987 – a sensitive coming-of-age story which portrays the issues of graduating from high school in an atmosphere of ongoing war.
- · Life According to Agfa, Assi Dayan, 1992 – Set in a Tel Aviv pub, this apocalyptic satire portrays a violent nightmare that takes place as a result of society’s ills.
- · Passover Fever, Shemi Zarhin, 1994 – authentically evoked drama about the dysfunctional family that one might find anywhere at holiday time.
- · Summer of Aviya, Eli Cohen, 1988 – internationally acclaimed drama about a child growing up with a mother who is forever tortured by her Holocaust memories, and its sequel, Under the Domim Tree, Eli Cohen, 1995—portrays the painful struggles of a group of survivor children all living together in a boarding school.
- · A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman, 2015 -- based on the autobiographical book by Amos Oz about his growing up in Jerusalem during the end of the British Mandatory period and the early years of the state.
- · Tel Aviv Stories, Ayelet Menahemi and Nirit Yaron, 1992 – three short stories about women. The third story, Divorce (Get), is about a woman willing to resort to desperate means in response to anachronistic rabbinic laws.
- · The Troupe (Sing Your Heart Out), Avi Nesher, 1979 – a musical comedy about the army entertainment troupe.
- · The Wooden Gun, Ilan Moshenson, 1979 – a deep psychological struggle is portrayed through the games of children, on the backdrop of the period following independence.
- · Walk on Water, Eytan Fox, 2004 – internationally acclaimed film about the emotional baggage that an Israeli Mossad agent carries as a result of his ongoing work.
- · Yana’s Friends, Arik Kaplun, 1999 – takes place against the backdrop of the Gulf War, portrays a variety of quirky characters and reflects the difficulties of new immigrants in a foreign land.