Live and Learn with Ira Weiss featuring History of Israeli Film (1960-1989)

04 Jun @ 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Discussion of the history of Israeli Cinema from its early days to today. Three films will be screened over this series of 3 sessions that represent three eras in that history.

Sallah Shabati, produced in the 1960s, is an example of the Bureka Comedies were one of the mainstays of the earliest period of Israeli films. Secular Jews of European origin dominated Israeli politics and culture, and the films produced reflected how they perceived the more recent Jewish immigrants from Arab lands.

By the 1990s  Israeli society had become more self-critical and cosmopolitan, and dramas with more universal themes began to dominate Israeli cinema. Broken Wings, produced in 2002, is the story of a family that is torn apart after the death of the husband and father, and how a sudden incident offers them a chance to heal.

By the late 2010s, Israeli filmmakers were co-producing cinema with filmmakers from other countries and also beginning to deal with the lives of Palestinians living in the West Bank. Tel Aviv on Fire is a comedy about Salam, a consultant on a popular Palestinian TV series filmed in Ramallah who rather stupidly runs afoul of an Israeli checkpoint commander who uses his military influence to begin to manipulate Salam and the writing of the show.


About Ira Weiss

Ira is a neurophysiologist by profession now retired after 30+ years at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC.  He grew up on the lower east side of New York City where he attended an orthodox yeshiva.   He helped found and run an NGO called Projects Encounter which, for four years, brought Palestinian and Israeli high school students to Spain for summer coexistence workshops and now serves on the board of  New Story Leadership  which brings Palestinian and Israeli young potential leaders to Washington for joint summer internships and leadership training.  Ira has been teaching a variety of classes for us in the Live & Learn space since before the pandemic.  His knowledge of Israel (culture, language, people, challenges, complexities) is vast and he’s a popular presenter among our Live & Learn folks.