Israel at the Movies – Film Guide Unit 3

Israel at the Movies:
Your Guide to 8 Israeli Films

Which film is best suited to my use?

The movies covered in this guide range from feature film to documentary and from historical classic to blockbuster hit, but each was selected as a quality film with artistic merit above and beyond its educational value. Here you will find brief synopses of the movies, organized by the guide’s four unit themes using the navigation below.

Outsiders & Integration into Society | Jewish-Arab Relations |
Religion in Israeli Society | Interpersonal Relationships

Unit 3: Religion in Israeli Society
“Time of Favor” and “Ushpizin”

“Time of Favor”

Appropriate for: high school students and older
About the Movie: This movie takes place at a yeshiva in a West Bank settlement, where a love triangle involving the rabbi’s daughter threatens to push one of the suitors to a violent action concerning the Temple Mount. Through a plot which narrates the making of a Jewish terrorist, this movie delves into questions of loyalty, the tension between the political and the personal and the value of an individual. With these themes, the movie explores the line between devotion and fanaticism and what could prompt someone to cross it, and the price an individual should pay for the sake of a larger group within the grand scheme of an ideological mission.
Use This Movie to Explore:
Cinema
| Use of cinema to explore themes relevant in the lives of cast members
History | Historical importance of the Temple Mount
Culture | Religious extremism in Israeli society

“Ushpizin”

Appropriate for: middle school students and older
About the Movie: Set in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, this movie has entertainment value purely as the heartwarming tale of a holiday miracle during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. However, this film also carries great significance as the first of its kind: a movie made by members of the ultra-Orthodox community in collaboration with secular filmmakers and aimed for general audiences. All religious characters were played by religious actors in this movie made on a set where Jewish law was followed, even by the secular camera crew from Tel Aviv.
Use This Movie to Explore:
Cinema
| Collaboration between ultra-Orthodox Jews and secular Jews to make a movie
History | History and importance of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot
Culture | The ultra-Orthodox community in Israel