MembersIsraeli Cinema

The Israeli film industry has experienced highs and lows.

By Aviel Schneider |
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Over 650 movies have been produced in Israel, out of which 12 achieved a nomination for an Oscar. The first tentative attempts in Israeli cinema revolved around the Zionist ethos. The first film, “Hill 24 is Not Responding,” was made in the 1950s. It was set during the days immediately following the War of Independence, when UN observers were trying to determine to whom the hill in question belonged.

The 60s and 70s was the period of the so-called “Burekas movies,” which managed to fill local theaters on a regular basis. The first of these films was “Salah Shabati” (1964), a satire on the problems of immigration and integration of Jews from Arab countries in the 1950s. It won a Golden Globe and remains one of the most successful films in Israel’s history. The film “Fortuna” (1966) by Menachem Golan also dealt with ethnic and cultural challenges, as did “Kazablan” (1973) by Igal Mossinson. During this time, a new generation of those born in the Land, known locally as “sabras,” began to play bigger roles in cult classics like “The Group” (HaLahaka) by...

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