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Books, Films and TV Shows about Israel

milgreen2

10+ Posts
Currently reading "A Pigeon and a Boy" by Meir Shalev. It's kind of a book club thing through our synagogue, with a wonderful educator and poetry expert, Rachel Korazim. I don't know if I'll participate in the Zoom calls later in the month (Sundays at 10:30, which is kind of a sacred exercise-followed-by-brunch time for me), but I am just loving the book. I am going to put it down for a few days because I'm getting close to the end and don't want it to be over. Seems like a good translation, but there's a lot of nuance and stuff about Israeli society and history that I'm sure goes over my head. Maybe those Zoom sessions are a good idea, after all!
 

ItalophileNJ

100+ Posts
I read "The Blue Mountain" by Shalev a couple of years ago and found it a beautiful book. The last few trips to Israel, I've stopped in at the small Steimatzky store down the street from the apartment I've rented, as well as the little bookstore up the street and bought Israeli fiction that hasn't yet come to the US, or at least that I haven't seen. Maybe I'll try "A Pigeon and a Boy". Last trip I bought Amos Oz's "Tales of Love and Darkness", then new, in English and in Hebrew. I figured I'd read a couple of pages of Hebrew and then read the same in English. That didn't work too well, his gorgeous Hebrew is just much too dense for me to finish a page in a realistic period of time.

I've heard of Rachel Korazim.... I think I've seen her name of the various inter-institutional ZOOM programs I've been looking at, although I've never done one with her.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
We just finished “No Man’s Land” on StarzPlay through Amazon (in the UK). It is a France and Israel production and isn’t about Israel but is about the war in Syria, a neighbor of Israel. It was an intense series with graphic battle scenes and an interesting story about British Muslims joining ISIS and an army of women fighting them. It was filmed in Morocco and Belgium to represent Syria and England.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Maybe I'll see you there! It seems there are many regular travelers to Israel who are now focussing on this coming October for a return trip.
I’ve been reading the Trip Advisor Israel forum too and people are planning to travel this fall. I’ve looked up flights several times and roughed out a trip, but we haven’t decided yet. We might wait until next spring.
 

Jim Zurer

100+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Pauline...just noticed that the iPlayer is showing the recent Israeli film Foxtrot...a compelling but devastating movie about the death of a son in military service.

 

Pauline

Forums Admin
Thanks Jim!

We are deep in season 3 of Shtisel. I don't want it to end! Season 1 was in 2013, season 2 in 2016 and season 3 starts 4 years after the end of season 2, so time has passed in the Shtisel household. Watching this show brings back all my memories of our trips to Israel. We both are looking at old photos, talking about Israel.

There is a new actress in Season 3, Daniella Kertesz, and I looked her up and she is in another Israeli TV series which sounds interesting. "Autonomies" from 2018 - Dystopian drama about Israel being split by a civil war into secular and religious states divided by a wall. It is on Amazon Prime in the US but not in the UK, but I think we might get it through Apple TV here - it is on the Topic streaming service.

Article in the Guardian:
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
There is a new actress in Season 3, Daniella Kertesz, and I looked her up and she is in another Israeli TV series which sounds interesting. "Autonomies" from 2018 - Dystopian drama about Israel being split by a civil war into secular and religious states divided by a wall. It is on Amazon Prime in the US but not in the UK, but I think we might get it through Apple TV here - it is on the Topic streaming service.

We were able to watch Autonomies but I do not recommend it. I loved the first two episodes but then they took the plot in a stupid direction completely ignoring the two state setup which was so interesting.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I am listening on Audible to Muriel Spark's 1965 novel about Israel, called The Mandelbaum Gate. It is set in Jerusalem in 1961 when the West Bank and East Jerusalem were held by Jordan and the entry point was the Mandelbaum Gate. The gate is still there now in the area called "the seam", the old border between Israel and the West Bank, before the Six Day War in 1967.

The main character, Barbara Vaughan, is a British school teacher who is half Jewish but converted to Catholicism, on holiday in Israel, planning to meet her fiancé, an archaeologist working at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls). She crosses into Jordan to see the Christian religious sites and runs into problems because of her "Jewish blood".

I am enjoying the book (almost finished) with all of its references to sites that we have seen in Jerusalem and Israel and its description of that time in Israel. We have not visited the Mandelbaum Gate but saw the area from the train that runs through the city. Next trip :)

From Wikipedia: The Mandelbaum Gate is a novel written by Scottish author Muriel Spark published in 1965. The title refers to the Mandelbaum Gate in Jerusalem, around which the novel is set. In 1965, it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize that year. In 2012, it was shortlisted for the Best of the James Tait Black. It was included in Anthony Burgess's 1984 book Ninety-Nine Novels: The Best in English since 1939 — A Personal Choice.
 

milgreen2

10+ Posts
I am listening on Audible to Muriel Spark's 1965 novel about Israel, called The Mandelbaum Gate. It is set in Jerusalem in 1961 when the West Bank and East Jerusalem were held by Jordan and the entry point was the Mandelbaum Gate. The gate is still there now in the area called "the seam", the old border between Israel and the West Bank, before the Six Day War in 1967.

The main character, Barbara Vaughan, is a British school teacher who is half Jewish but converted to Catholicism, on holiday in Israel, planning to meet her fiancé, an archaeologist working at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls). She crosses into Jordan to see the Christian religious sites and runs into problems because of her "Jewish blood".

I am enjoying the book (almost finished) with all of its references to sites that we have seen in Jerusalem and Israel and its description of that time in Israel. We have not visited the Mandelbaum Gate but saw the area from the train that runs through the city. Next trip :)

From Wikipedia: The Mandelbaum Gate is a novel written by Scottish author Muriel Spark published in 1965. The title refers to the Mandelbaum Gate in Jerusalem, around which the novel is set. In 1965, it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize that year. In 2012, it was shortlisted for the Best of the James Tait Black. It was included in Anthony Burgess's 1984 book Ninety-Nine Novels: The Best in English since 1939 — A Personal Choice.
Ooh....this was one of my FAVORITE books in high school -- I can still see, in my mind's eye, the cover of the paperback. Now I want to re-read it!
 

ItalophileNJ

100+ Posts
Yes, I still remember reading this wonderful book. I just checked online and, as I remembered, Muriel Spark herself was a woman of Jewish heritage who converted to Catholicism. Her writings reflect both her family background and her strong intereset in religion.
As for the Mandelbaum Gate itself: The first trip my husband Frank *z"l and I took to Israel was in June 1969, barely two years after the Six Day War. For some reason, we decided to stay at a hotel in East Jerusalem, on Saladin Street. (I think the idea was that we would demonstrate to Arab hotel owners that they could get Jewish tourists). This was fine, except that every time we needed to head back to our hotel, we passed signs saying we were about to leave West Jerusalem and go through the Mandelbaum Gate, and Frank's immediate (visceral? ) reaction was to head in a different direction, away from danger.
I couldn't find my copy of "The Mandelbaum Gate" but here's a photo my 196? copy of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", which hails Spark as the author of "The Mandelbaum Gate".

*of blessed memory

IMG-0591.jpg
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
I just checked online and, as I remembered, Muriel Spark herself was a woman of Jewish heritage who converted to Catholicism. Her writings reflect both her family background and her strong intereset in religion.
That’s interesting! I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie decades ago.

On Audible the person reading is male with a very upper class British voice, which was annoying at first but then I started to like it. I think it was free for Audible subscribers.
 

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