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Israel Documentary: 7 Influential Films on Israeli Struggles

By    |   Monday, 29 Dec 2014 03:55 PM

Documentary films that have been influential in highlighting Israelis’ struggles have a long history, but until the last few years, none had been nominated for an Oscar.

“The Gatekeepers” and “5 Broken Cameras” were nominated for the 2013 Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category.

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The Jerusalem Post commented that “the unprecedented two nominations for Israeli documentaries is a testament to the vitality of the Israeli movie scene over the last decade.”

Although neither film won in 2013, both had garnered several other awards and praises. “The Gatekeepers” won the Best Documentary Award given by The National Society of Film Critics in the United States. “5 Broken Cameras” won the documentary director’s award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

“The Gatekeepers” contains interviews with six previous directors of the Israel Security Agency, known as the Shin Bet.



“5 Broken Cameras” chronicles the first few years of life for filmmaker Emad Burnat’s child in the village of Bil’in in the West Bank. While he was documenting the fighting near the Israeli security fence, five of Burnat's cameras were destroyed by the Israeli army. His footage showed how his family members and friends being shot and injured by Israeli troops.

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While it wasn’t a full-length film, the Israeli documentary short “Strangers No More” won an Academy Award in 2011.

According to the film’s website, “Strangers No More” shows how children from 48 different countries are being taught in a school in Tel Aviv, having escaped “poverty, political adversity and even genocide. Here, no child is a stranger.”



“Israeli films have made the short list in the past, but none has made the final cut,” the Post said of feature documentaries at the Academy Awards.

Other Israeli documentary films include:
• "The Birth of Israel"
• "Israel and the Bomb"
• "The Lab"
• "Let My People Go"

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Documentary films that have been influential in highlighting Israelis’ struggles have a long history, but until the last few years, none had been nominated for an Oscar.
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2014-55-29
Monday, 29 Dec 2014 03:55 PM
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