Kedma (2002)

KEDMA.jpg

1h 40min | Drama, War  

May 1948. Battles are raging in Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. In two weeks, the British mandate will come to an end and they will leave the country. A rusty cargo ship, the Kedma, is on its way to the Promised Land. Hundreds of Holocaust survivors from all over Europe are packed aboard.

May 1948. Battles are raging in Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. In two weeks, the British mandate will come to an end and they will leave the country. A rusty cargo ship, the Kedma, is on its way to the Promised Land. Hundreds of Holocaust survivors from all over Europe are packed aboard. On a beach in Palestine, soldiers of the Palmach - the clandestine Jewish army - wait to welcome them, whilst British soldiers intend to stop them disembarking. Nevertheless, a small group of men and women manages to escape to the hills and finds itself in the midst of the battle for the road to Jerusalem.

"How does one make fiction out of a founding myth? For America, Hollywood invented the western. For Israel, Amos Gitai shot Kedma. (...) Since he does not really go in for nationalism, he makes us look at a few of the black holes into which the Middle East is falling. To tell us that when Israel was founded in 1948 - an incredible attempt at turning a people's fate into destiny - they were met with an even crazier reality. And Gitai, impressively melancholic, spares no one: neither the British soldiers nor those of the Palmach, the clandestine Jewish army. (...) The situation called for a totally new nation, not just another State. Gitai also underlines this point: the Israeli issue is not the Jewish issue. And utopias rarely end happily. As for the Arabs, the other great group of displaced people in the film, Gitai does not grant them any extra heroism or make martyrs of them. Yussuf, an old peasant harassed by Jewish soldiers, starts vociferating (...) Later, Janusz the Jew, dazed by the fighting, starts yelling (...). Always the same thing, in this nightmare, soliloquy for soliloquy." Gérard Lefort, Libération, May 17, 2002

Cast Andrei Kashker, Helena Yaralova, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Moni Moshonov, Juliano Mer-Khamis, Menachem Lang, Sendi Bar, Tomer Russo, Liron Levo, Roman Hazanowski, Dalia Shachaf, Keren Ben Rafael, Sasha Chernichovsky, Rawda Suleiman, Gal Altschuler

Director Amos Gitai

Screenplay Amos Gitai, Marie-José Sanselme, with the collaboration of Marc Weitzmann, Mordechai Goldhecht

Cinematography Yorgos Arvanitis

Production design Eitan Levi

Editing Kobi Netanel

Music David Darling, Manfred Eicher

Sound Michel Kharat, Alex Claude, Cyril Holtz

Costumes Laura Dinolesko

Casting Ilan Moscovitch

Special effects Pini Klavier

Production Agav Films, Agav Hafakot (Israel), M.P. Productions, BIM (Italy), Arte France Cinéma, Canal+, Eurimages

Executive producer(s) Shuki Friedman, Laurent Truchot

Producer(s) Amos Gitai, Marin Karmitz, Michel Propper

Co-Producer(s) Valerio De Paolis

Festivals

Cannes: Festival de Cannes 2002 - Official selection
São Paulo International Film Festival 2002 - Press Award
Bangkok International Film Festival 2003

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