UC Berkeley Library

Zionism

Awodah

Without narration, this film documents the pioneering labors of early Jewish settlers in Palestine in the 1930s as they build a new homeland. The film records the technological and agricultural accomplishments of the pioneers and extols the idea of a socialist Jewish state. Footage includes shots taken at the Jaffa port and on various kibbutzes of the time. Director Lerski's expressive style creates an almost mythic image of the Jew in Palestine, toiling and triumphing amidst the sweeping desert landscape.

Davidoff Newsreel

A newsreel segment depicting the first voyage of a Polish ocean liner with Jewish immigrants to Palestine in 1934. The film contains footage of the departure from the Black Sea port of Constanta, the passengers enjoying the voyage, the recitation of Yom Kippur prayers on deck and an extended cantorial performance. Other images include passengers dancing the hora, singing Zionist songs, and the impressive urban vistas of Haifa and Tel-Aviv which greeted the visitors upon their arrival. Dist.: National Center for Jewish Film. 10 min.

Dreamers and Builders

A compilation from silent films of the 1920s originally produced, photographed and directed by Ya'akov Ben Dov. This documentary traces the history of Zionism and the movement to create a national homeland for the Jewish people focusing on the work of the early filmmaker Yaakov Ben Dov. Landmark events in the creation of the state of Israel are highlighted, such as the first waves of Jewish immigrants to Palestine, the Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland, the Balfour Declaration, and the early agricultural, economic and political development of the country.

Hatikvah (The Hope: This Being a Report of What had Happened During the 1930s in Palestine)

Created in 1936 in an effort to inspire German Jews to emigrate to Palestine, this documentary focuses on major personalities of the Zionist movement, the constructive work carried out in Palestine by the first waves of immigration, and the religious life of Jews from diverse backgrounds. Originally released in 1936; re-edited in 1993. Dist.: National Center for Jewish Film. 48 min.

Labor of Thy Hands

Sponsored by an American Zionist women's organization, this film aims to build support for Israel among Americans by showing similarities between the two countries. Hadassah presents; screenplay, Mina Brownstone ; producer, Hazel Greenwald. 1950s. 14 min.

The Dream of My People (with Joseph Rosenblatt Bringing Present Day Palestine Before Your Eyes)

A An early travelogue on Palestine, focusing on Jews living and working in the Holy Land. Locations featured include Jerusalem sites, the Judean Hills, Mikve Israel Agricultural School, pioneers working in the fields; Rishon le Zion, Rehovot, Nes Ziona, citrus picking and packing, Jezreel Valley and settlements, Tiberias and Lak Kinneret, Bedouin dwellings, Tel Aviv and Jaffa beach and street scenes and the Maccabiah Stadium. Dist.: National Center for Jewish Film. 1934. 66 min.

The Land of Promise: The First Palestine Sound Picture

Directed & edited by Juda Leman, 1935. This is one of Palestine's earliest sound films and part of a larger campaign to encourage settlement and investment by Jews in "the Jewish homeland." Punctuated by evocative close-ups, this part-documentary, part-travelogue, part-message film shows Palestine as a land of opportunity, the place for fulfilling an ancient dream. Dist.: National Center for Jewish Film. 54 min.
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