SFJFF: The Zionist Idea

A Wider Bridge is a proud community partner at the 35th anniversary San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and is honored to co-sponsor California-premiere screenings of “The Zionist Idea,” a film that does not shy away from the difficult questions, demanding that we confront the reality of competing claims by Jews and Arabs to the same territory.

Screening dates:
Friday, July 24, 4:10PM        | Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street at Market, San Francisco, CA
Thursday, August 6, 1:15PM | California, 2113 Kittredge Street, Berkeley, CA 94704
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The Zionist Idea (Joseph Dormn; Israel; Hebrew with English subtitles; Documentary; 158min )

This startlingly fresh examination of the history of Israel viewed through the evolution of its ideological foundations was written and directed by Joseph Dorman (Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness, SFJFF 2011) and Oren Rudavsky (Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust, SFJFF 2003).

The documentary states from the outset that it seeks to tell “the story of Zionism as seen through the inhabitants of the land,” that is, both Jewish and Arab, Israeli and Palestinian. Rare and fascinating archival footage complements the film with its riveting interviews of an array of contemporary figures, from historians and politicians to café denizens in Tel Aviv and Ramallah.

The Zionist Idea closely examines the roots of Theodore Herzl’s “dream” in 19th-century European romantic nationalism and traces the development of the implications of the Zionist ideal through the early kibbutz movement, to the founding of the state in 1948, to the dizzy conquests of 1967 and to the present. Dorman and Rudavsky do not shy away from the difficult questions, demanding that we confront the reality of competing claims by Jews and Arabs to the same territory and forcing us to examine the long history of often violent contention among Jews who subscribe fiercely to competing definitions of what it means to be a Zionist.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, runs July 23 – August 9 in San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Oakland, and San Rafael. For ticket information, please contact the box office at 415.621.0523 or visit the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival online atwww.sfjff.org