Promised lands
Promised lands Downloadable Video - 1974 | Hebrew

After a couple of fiction films that are currently unavailable, the cultural and literary critic Susan Sontag went to Israel as the Yom Kippur War sputtered to a close and shot a lot of footage in Jerusalem and near the front. She opted to follow the great documentarian Frederick Wiseman's example and make a story out of what she had gotten, presenting it without commentary by herself or others directly involved in making the film, either on the sound track or in subtitles. She even excises any prompting words that may have been made to the people who speak in the film, which include, most saliently, a young soldier and two middle-aged men who grew up in Israel and recount their involvements since boyhood in the Jewish nation's struggle against attempts, mostly from without, to destroy it. The resulting film is one for the ages, the one I, for one, would say everyone who wants to understand Israel should see first, even now, nearly a half-century after it was made. --Ray Olson

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