We suggest the possibility of deepening the students’ perspective on the picture that has been presented by showing one of two films.
The first film is part of the excellent, highly-recommended - if controversial - Israeli television series - Tkuma, renewal or revival. The series was produced in 1998 to mark the first fifty years of the Jewish state and to tell its story. Each program attempts to address one particular aspect of the Israeli experience during that period.
The virtue of the series may be the fact that it addresses even the most difficult of issues in a critical manner, not flinching from examining subjects of great sensitivity. The program in the original twenty-two-part Hebrew series examined the question of immigration, emphasizing the difficulties of the early-fifties and making certain observations about the contemporary issue of the recent Russian (and to a lesser extent, Ethiopian) aliyah. It should also be mentioned that the program in the original series dealt with the question of the Holocaust and Holocaust survivors in modern Israel.
A shorter English-language version was then produced in which was included an excellent adaptation of the program on immigration. The program about the Holocaust did not appear in the shortened version.
We suggest a screening of the program in one of the versions, after the group has gone through at least some of the four preceding exercises. It will deepen their understanding of the issues already examined. Of course, the program should be followed by discussion and processing.
A second possibility is to screen the film Sallah Shabbati, one of the first Israeli satires, made in the year 1964. This film, which remains extremely funny to new audiences, tells the story of a family of North African new immigrants in the early years of the state. Their adventures in Israel are described with much humor, but also with much pathos. The interaction with the kibbutzniks (representing the new Jew model - both the ideal and the reality) who adopt the local immigrant camp is fascinating, as it outlines the cultural problems of both groups in their mutual interaction.
The film is a full-length feature but must be followed by discussion and processing. One aspect that is worth discussing is which group comes out worse from the satire. Many critics have condemned it as caricaturing and stereotyping the North African immigrant, which it surely does. However, it may also be suggested that the kibbutznikim are portrayed in exactly the same critical light and perhaps emerge far worse-off.