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Israeli Film 101, Or Why I Have Finally Joined Netflix

First, the Jewish Book Council lured me into opening a Twitter account–against my better, time-preserving judgment–so that I could participate in its online book club/discussions (the next one of which, featuring Julie Orringer and her amazing novel, The Invisible Bridge, happens to be taking place today at 12:30 p.m. EST).

But at least Twitter doesn’t cost anything. Now, thanks to my recent trip to Israel, I’ve finally succumbed and joined Netflix. Which does cost something (beyond time).

Here’s what happened: One warm Jerusalem afternoon, our group meandered over to the Hebrew Union College campus for what was billed as a session with an Israeli screenwriter and film critic. That gathering proved to be one of the highlights of the trip.

The screenwriter/critic, Galit Roichman, contextualized and presented clips from three Israeli films: Walk on Water (2004), Turn Left at the End of the World (2004), and The Band’s Visit (2007).

Suffice to say that I wished we could have stayed hours longer, to watch all three films in their entirety and to get more recommendations from the presenter (she has promised to assemble a list and forward it to our trip organizers, and I’m going to follow up on that). I knew I’d have to see those films somehow, so once my suitcases were unpacked and my jet lag had abated, I finally gave in and opened a Netflix acount.

The first film listed on my queue, Netflix promises, will arrive today. (It’s Walk on Water.) Meantime, anyone else want to suggest some Israeli films for me to view?

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4 Responses »

  1. See “The Egyptian Orchestra.”

  2. Check out these Israeli films:
    Ushpizim
    Lemon Tree
    Beaufort
    The Syrian Bride
    Ajami

    I would be interested in knowing which other films are being recommended. I am familiar with ‘Walk on Water” and “The Band’s Visit”, but never heard of “Turn Left at The End of the World.”

    • Hello again, Ellen. I’ve heard back from Ms. Roichman, and I’ll post the list (minus descriptions/details) here:

      Noodle
      The Band’s Visit
      Strangers
      Waltz with Bashir
      Metallic Blues
      Jellyfish
      Ushpizin (Guests)
      Walk on Water
      Broken Wings
      Late Marriage
      Campfire
      The Loners

      More information is available, she says, at http://www.israelfilmfund.com.

  3. Thank you for the recommendations. Ellen, I emailed Ms. Roichman today–we’ll see what’s happening with those recs.

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