Israel at the Movies – Film Guide Unit 4

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 4: Interpersonal Relationships
“Walk on Water” and “Wisdom of the Pretzel”

“Walk on Water”

Appropriate for: high school students and older
About the Movie: When Eyal, a tough Israeli agent, is given the assignment to kill off an aging ex-Nazi, he never suspects that this one mission could change his life. His interactions with characters such as the young Germans Axel and Pia, and Rafik, a gay Palestinian, yield powerful insights into the qualities of manliness, the fabric of personal relationships and the nature of forgiveness.
Use This Movie to Explore:
Cinema
| Recurring themes in multiple movies made by a director
History | Holocaust retribution; Second Intifada; responsibility of the individual as a theme in history
Culture | Culture of the Mossad (Israeli intelligence agency); Israeli attitudes towards Germans; stereotypes of Israeli men

“Wisdom of the Pretzel”

Appropriate for: WARNING! Mature audiences only
About the Movie: This movie features the lives of young people in Tel Aviv, their aspirations, preoccupations and day-to-day interactions. The movie begins as a humorous tribute to the lustful instincts, fanciful thought processes and all the excitement and insecurities of youth. However, it slowly deepens into a serious and philosophical examination of the relationships the characters choose, the life decisions they make and the regrets with which ultimately they must live.
Use This Movie to Explore:
Cinema
| The making—and remaking—of a movie
History | Tel Aviv as Israel’s secular culture capital
Culture | The culture of young Israelis today