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Kedma (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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Kedma -- An Official Selection at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, KEDMA is renowned Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai's (Kippur, Kadosh) powerful drama about a group of European Jewish refugees who arrive at Palestine in the critical year of 1948. Carried on the deck of the freighter Kedma, they come ashore to find not the Promised Land of milk and honey, but a war-torn desert in the bloody throes of transformation into the state of Israel. Rescued from a British army ambush at beachside by Palmach Jewish guerillas, the Kedma's ragged refugees are remade into soldiers expected to offer their lives to defend a nation that does not yet exist in a land they've never known.


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Release Date:
22 May 2002 (France) See more »
In May 1948, shortly before the creation of the State of Israel, hundreds of immigrants from across Europe arrive in Palestine--only to risk arrest by British troops. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Raises more questions than it answers. See more (13 total) »


  (in credits order)
Andrei Kashkar ... Yanush
Helena Yaralova ... Rossa
Yussuf Abu-Warda ... The Arab Man
Moni Moshonov ... Klibanov
Juliano Mer-Khamis ... Moussa (as Juliano Mer)
Menachem Lang ... Menachem
Sendi Bar ... Yardena
Tomer Russo ... Milek
Liron Levo ... Gideon
Roman Hazanowski ... Roman
Dalia Shachaf ... Dalia
Keren Ben Rafael ... Isha (as Karen Ben Raphael)
Sasha Chernichovsky ... Sacha
Rawda Suleiman ... Jaffra
Gal Altschuler ... Ygal
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Merzei Kumkin
Igor Mirkukhanof
Veronica Nicole ... Hanka
Blair Pootnoi
Uzi Rosenblat

Directed by
Amos Gitai 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Amos Gitai 
Mordechai Goldhecht 
Haim Hazaz  novel
Ghassan Kanafani  uncredited
Marie-Jose Sanselme 
Taufik Zayad  poem

Produced by
Valerio De Paolis .... co-producer
Amos Gitai .... producer
Marin Karmitz .... producer
Gadi Levy .... consulting producer
Alain Mamou-Mani .... producer
Michel Propper .... co-producer
Michael Tapuah .... co-producer
Laurent Truchot .... producer
Original Music by
David Darling 
Manfred Eicher 
Cinematography by
Giorgos Arvanitis 
Film Editing by
Kobi Netanel 
Casting by
Ilan Moscovitch 
Production Design by
Eitan Levi 
Costume Design by
Laura Dinolesko 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Raanan Tesler .... assistant director (as Ranaan Tessler)
Sound Department
Philippe Amouroux .... sound re-recording mixer
Nicolas Becker .... foley artist
Alex Claude .... sound designer
Israel David .... sound effects editor
Cyril Holtz .... sound re-recording mixer
Denis Jaillet-Marsigny .... sound mix technician
Michel Kharat .... sound recordist
John Purcell .... dialogue editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Adi Borkin .... best boy
Noam Eisenberg .... key grip
Berdougo Michael .... gaffer
Floris Sybesma .... Steadicam operator
Floris Sybesma .... camera operator
Other crew
Alona Barer .... production coordinator
Nicolas Girard Deltruc .... production coordinator
Sari Turgeman .... script supervisor
Marc Weitzmann .... advisor: screenplay

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Color (Fujicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Yanush:We don't have history, this is the fact. I don't know how to say this in Hebrew. But this is what it is. Our history is the way it is because of the Christians. We didn't want it be like this. We don't want it this way ever. They forced this on us,and we can't help it...See more »


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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Raises more questions than it answers., 22 December 2004
Author: luckystrike6 from United States

I'm not sure I got what I was supposed to get out of this film. As a piece of cinema it was an interesting way to shoot a low budget movie. With long, almost entirely wide-angle shots that hardly move at all, (except for a magnificent opening sequence and some hand-held work later on) it's staged and paced like a series of short plays. Some of the settings are just too simplistic; visually there isn't a lot going on besides the stories of the people coming in and out of the frame. There's no main protagonist in the film; numerous characters come and go, unresolved, sharing nearly equal screen time, but never quite enough of it to make any one of them more than a two-dimensional expression of a social theme. This dispassionate attitude gives "Kedma" a very documentary feel for the first two acts. It is the third act which is confusing, and even as a Jew with family in Israel, I feel severely underqualified to interpret Amos Gitai's true intentions with it. Watched with one set of eyes, it could be called a relatively simplistic portrayal of the birth of a nation, which throws its hands up to a certain extent and spreads the blame for the current situation around widely enough to defuse the certain blowback this film was to receive from the Orthodox community. On the other hand, in blaming Christianity, the Talmud and the Messianic tradition for enforcing the diaspora mentality over the past 2000 years, it stops right on the doorstep of declaring the modern State of Israel a product of the Jews' inheritance of the Nazi mentality which drove them there in the first place. Now: This isn't what I'm saying, but it might well be what the film is saying. At the very least it states boldly that the heroic Sabra stance is nothing more than the bitter side of the slave mentality, an ongoing form of self- flagellation. Only, the movie doesn't give you any inkling that this is where it's taking you as it leads you on in documentary form; and the result is definitely shocking. This is not a movie which apologizes for any outburst of emotion; nor does it pay much homage to the myth of the historical Maccabee. In short, it is about the weak preying on the weaker. Whether or not its stance is correct or covers the entire picture, again, I'm not qualified to say. There are certainly several other sides to the conversation than the one this film snakes its way into advancing. It's not a coincidence, either, that "Kedma" is the name of the refugee ship the Jewish characters arrive on; this movie, if nothing else, is the anti-"Exodus." None of the above, by the way, makes this film particularly enjoyable to watch. But if you like watching painful and well-crafted work that makes you think,'s still not that enjoyable to watch, but at moments it's completely riveting.

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