Hill 24 Doesn't Answer (1955)
- Summaries (3)
This was the first movie produced in Israel. It deals with the outbreak of hostilities during the war for independence in 1947. The message of this film was the sadness and stupidity of people killing each other and how "it's always the old who lead us to war and only the young who die..." (Phil Ochs)
Hill 24 is one of the foothills dominating the approach to Jerusalem. The night before a cease-fire, to be imposed by the United Nations to stop the Israeli-Arab war, four Israeli volunteers set out to hold the hill until morning, in order to be able to claim it for Israel. The four men exchange their stories on the way to Hill 24: James Finnegan met Miriam Miszrahi during the time of the British Mandate in Palestine. He was a British-army investigator and she a member of the underground. After his discharge, Finnegan returned to Israel and joined Miriam and the Israeli forces; Allan Goodman, an American tourist, was drawn into the fighting for the Old City of Jerusalem. He was wounded and met a rabbi who inspired his course through religious training; Esther Hadassi is a Yemonite who recalls the beauty of her birthplace, the Jerusalm hills; the fourth volunteer, a young Israelite named David Airam, tells of a recent incident that happened on patrol in the Negev Desert. He had captured a wounded prisoner who turned out to be a former Nazi officer in WW II, who killed himself in a fit of hatred against Jews. The volunteers arrive at Hill 24. The title tells all.
A truce is about to be declared in the first Arab-Israeli war with the UN establishing new lines of demarcation. Four members of the new Israeli army are tasked to establish possession of Hill 24. In flashbacks, we learn where each of the four came to be where they are today: James Finnegan, an English policeman during the Mandate Period who has fallen in love with a beautiful Israeli; Allan Goodman, a New Yorker who was on a 3 week tour of Palestine as the British mandate was coming to an end; Esther, a Polish nurse who survived the concentration camps. They need only keep possession of the hill until the next morning.
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