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Ten Israeli films you need to see (and one British remake...)

By Dovi Weider

Beaufort - 

An excellent war film about the last days of a group of soldiers at the Beaufort outpost in Lebanon. Sensitively expresses the effects of the fighting on young Israelis and various parties in Israeli society. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and the winner of the Silver Bear Award for directing at the Berlin Film Festival.


Waltz with Bashir - 

a stunning docu-drama animation of the memories of the director Ari Pullman from the First Lebanon War. An Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and the Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film. A graphic novel version was created following the film.


Ajami -

 a Hebrew-Arabic speaking film that takes place in the Ajami neighbourhood of Jaffa and brings a few stories about the violence and challenging life in this tough neighbourhood. Most of the performances in the film are of non-actors, some of whom are residents of the area, and the atmosphere is very realistic. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and was the first Arabic-speaking film to be nominated by Israel.


Image of Victory- 

One of the most expensive Israeli films of all time. The film returns to the Israeli War of Independence and the tragic Battle of Nitzanim, including the point of view of the Egyptian soldiers. The film caused stormy discussions by opening old wounds of Nitzanim's residents about the harsh criticism they suffered after the war for surrendering to the Egyptian army.


Yossi and Jagger-

 One of the first LGBT films which made their way into the Israeli mainstream. This classic tells the love story of two soldiers serving on the Israeli-Lebanese border.



The Bubble - 

A film about three young Tel-Avivians who live in the "Tel Aviv bubble" heart when a young Palestinian joins their lives. The film has had some success at European film festivals.


A story about love and darkness -

The adaptation of the Israeli Oscar winner Natalie Portman for Amos Oz's book (a book that is considered an Israeli heritage asset). Amos Oz shares his memories from his childhood in Mandatory Jerusalem before establishing the State of Israel.


The Syrian Bride - 

A film that describes the reality of the Druze community in the Golan Heights. The film is about a Druze woman from Majdal Shams who is about to marry a Syrian man she did not meet before. She is supposed to cross the border from Israel to Syria and will not be allowed to cross the border back.


The Band's visit:

 A touching gem about the Alexandria Police Band that comes to play at the opening ceremony of an Arab cultural centre in Petah Tikva but accidentally arrives in a sleepy peripheral town in the Negev, with a similar name. 

The members of the band had to stay in the small town. The meeting of cultures and the delicate bonds forged between the residents and the orchestra players are at the heart of this exciting comedy-drama. Despite the lovely Egyptian characters, the film was screened only once in a special screening at the Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo after significant efforts by Israeli officials. The film has adapted into a successful Broadway musical that has won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical.


The Debt 2007: 

A story of a Mossad agents' team in the late 1990s haunted by a failed operation to capture a Nazi criminal in Berlin of the 1960s.

The Debt 2010: 

The film has a British remake starring Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain and Tom Wilkinson.