Seven Decades of Israeli Film

Scene of two men sitting at a table eating from the movie "Maktub" (Fate)

The movie “Maktub” (Fate)

It has been 70 years since Israel declared its independence.  So this year, the Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia (IFF) will showcase films that highlight different aspects of the region’s history. The movies will be shown at various locations in Philadelphia and the nearby suburbs from March 3 to March 25.

Several of the documentaries and feature films epitomize the struggles that the infant Israeli nation underwent as it transitioned from survival mode to inclusion. Others deal with the acceptance of minorities, modern day dilemmas, and affairs of the heart.

Israeli Film Festival Artistic Director Mindy Chriqui said, “Movies can be a way to bring people together, to express a common bond. Not only does the 2018 festival portray those qualities but we have also attempted to entertain and provide a backdrop for the young country of Israel, as it finds its way.”

The eleven films in the series range from upbeat to inspirational. This year the festivities open with Maktub (fate has been written). It is the title of a book by Paulo Coelho. The movie is a charming slapstick comedy about partners in crime who escape a suicide bombing and vow to fulfill the wishes of those leaving notes at the Western Wall.  Itzhak is a documentary about Itzhak Perlman, the superstar violist and conductor who overcame personal obstacles. Beneath the Silence features a soldier suffering from PTSD. In Muhi, a Palestinian boy is caught between two worlds, Jewish and Arab. Shelter and An Israeli Love Story are about the founding of the State of Israel and what had to be endured to make it a reality. “Every year we are excited about the movies coming out of Israel and the maturity shown by filmmakers, but this year we have exceptional movies for everyone, spanning every genre,” added Nurit Yaron, IFF Chairperson.

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