Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 28, 2013

Israeli Propaganda, With Warts

Filed under: Film,zionism — louisproyect @ 1:00 pm

Counterpunch Weekend Edition June 28-30, 2013

Israeli Propaganda, With Warts

by LOUIS N. PROYECT

Out of a sense of duty to CounterPunch readers, I went to a press screening for “Israel: a Home Movie” that opens at the Film Forum in New York on July 10th. It might be more accurate to say that I went to monitor it since it had all the earmarks of a typical Israeli film geared to the liberal to left audiences at the Film Forum, a premier art house. Unlike “World War Z”, the new zombie movie that apparently includes 10 minutes of full-blast Zionist propaganda (Israel becomes a Zombie-free zone largely on the efforts of a muscular and merciless IDF standing guard at the borders), “Israel: a Home Movie” is anxious to show Israel with warts and all, as the announcement from the Film Forum publicity department made clear:

Israel goes from a young, optimistic, albeit naive nation, to one in which the realities of middle-age (and worse) settle in. There is a description of “shell-shock”; a young soldier who declares “God bless morphine”; images of a relative “killed in a terrorist attack at about age 30″; the demolition of a minaret and discussion of whether it was a holy site; David Ben-Gurion visiting transit camps in 1956, and glimpses throughout of Ariel Sharon, Moshe Dayan, and Anwar Sadat. Perhaps nowhere in the world could home movies so intimately reflect the changing political face of a nation. As early as the late 1970s, one feels that tragedy has become the norm, that life inevitably leads to death and that – in Israel as we have known it – peace inevitably leads to war.

As the title implies, the film is entirely made up of home movies shot  mostly on 8mm film cameras like the kind people used to take on vacation. As such, most of the footage is fairly banal stuff that ostensibly would only be of interest to people who get a kick out of watching strangers frolicking in the ocean or—worse—babies waddling into their parents’ arms. The men or women who made the films or their children provide narration. The perspective is mostly that of old-style kibbutz “socialism” or Peace Now liberalism, just the sort of thing that would resonate with the film’s target audience.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/28/israeli-propaganda-with-warts/

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