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Aretz Hadasha (1994)

| Drama | 1994 (Israel)
A brother and sister arrive alone in the new country of Israel after World War II where they hope to find their lost mother. The complexities of life with colorful characters in the refugee... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Etti Ankri ...
Guy Bracca ...
Michael Phelman ...
Rona Tamir ...
Asher Tzarfati ...
Natalia Witlovich


A brother and sister arrive alone in the new country of Israel after World War II where they hope to find their lost mother. The complexities of life with colorful characters in the refugee transit camp and nearby kibbutz makes it hard to reconcile their real lives with their deeper dream of still finding the Newland. Written by Ron Weissman <rotawe@gti.net>

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1994 (Israel)  »

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New Land  »

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Stories from Israel's Difficult Early Years
4 May 2008 | by (Washington, D.C.) – See all my reviews

This film is about a specific period in Israel's history, told through several individual stories layered over one another. The principal story is, as others have said, about a brother and his traumatized younger sister, newly arrived in a make-shift camp during or shortly after the War of Independence. They have come to look for their mother, from whom they were separated during the Holocaust. They are lodged temporarily in difficult circumstances among a miserable crowd of others fleeing from Displaced Persons camps in Europe or from persecution in Arab nations of North Africa or the Middle East. Their story, while in the foreground, is accompanied by several other poignant tales -- a pregnant Greek Jew who lost her only child during the Holocaust living with a man who had lost his wife and child; a young man and woman, camp leaders whose mutual love is shattered when the young man says that the female survivors of the Holocaust must have been "Nazi whores" and the young woman furiously quits the camp; the wifeless and childless Moroccan man whose brother-in-law runs the black market inside the camp; the deathly sick elderly Jew who arrives with his Christian wife, looking for medicine which the black market chief will supply only if the wife sleeps with him. It is the period in Israel's history that is paramount in the this movie, more than the individual stories. While specific to the individual characters, the stories are also meant to be prototypical. Each is framed as a tragedy headed toward outcomes that may be more or less difficult but never easy. The resolution of the brother/sister tale is a fantastical dream sequence likely to remind some viewers of "ET." But there is nothing remotely pleasing about the outcome because it is emblematic of the girl's disturbed personality which seems unlikely ever to be cured unless her lost mother unexpectedly reappears from the mouth of Hitler's crematoria. The Israeli nation will recover. We know that from history. But the individuals will carry their experiences with them throughout their lives.

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