Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Life of the Jews of Palestine (1913) Noah Sokolovsky

On the eve of World War I, Jews in European ghettos and market towns were transfixed by a new sensation: motion picture images from Palestine. Many had never seen a movie before and some cried as they escaped the cold Russian landscape for a moment, on a celluloid pilgrimage to the land of milk and honey. The maker of the film was an active Zionist and his vision of nearly miraculous Jewish productivity was meant to encourage viewers to make aliya (resettle in the promised land). The film shows European Jews laboring beside their Middle-Eastern co-religionists, tilling fields, building cities, schools and hospitals. There are few signs of Ottoman domination or Palestinian life. The film was criticized by the Zionist left as early as 1914 for virtually ignoring the presence of local Arabs. The beautiful photographic eye of Sokolovsky and his colleagues provides us with more of a travelogue than a narrative. Still, this newly rediscovered and restored film is a striking document of political and cinema history, partly because of its rare depiction of the Jews of 1913 as a people with a newfound sense of their power to determine their fate. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Kino-pravda no. 21 - Leninskaia Kino-pravda. Kinopoema o Lenine (1925)

Kino-Pravda No. 21 (with English/German subs)

Leninskaja Kino-Pravda. Kinopoema o Lenine (Lenin Kino-Pravda. A Film Poem About Lenin) Issue Date: January 21, 1925 Duration: 32 min 28 sec (18 fps) Directed by: Dziga Vertov Produced by: Goskino (K...

``Kino Pravda`` is a series of 23 ``newsreels`` by Vertov (1922-1925). The best-known of them is No. 21, ``21-aya Kino-Pravda Leninskaya - K godovshchine smerty`` (1925), which commemorates the first anniversary of Lenin`s death. Each newsreel runs ca. 30 min.