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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:
interesting subject, original treatment, poor cinematography 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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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
interesting subject, original treatment, poor cinematography, 1 October 2005
Author: dromasca from Herzlya, Israel

Amos Gitai is one of the best known Israeli directors, quite successful in the circuit of the international cinema festivals. What a pity that his daring and fresh approach to the key moments of the Israeli history is not doubled, unfortunately, at least in this film, by appropriate cinema means.

The historical setting of 'Kedma' is the moment of the beginning of the state of Israel when immigrants from Europe, survivors of the Holocaust arrive in Israel aboard the illegal immigration boats, just to finds on the promised shore a new land of conflict. 'Kedma' is the name of an immigrants boat, as 'Exodus' was, and it deals with the same period as in Leon Uris's book and film 'Exodus', Certainly this important moment in history deserves a better treatment than the Hollywood one. It's a setting well entrenched in the collective memory of any Israeli and Palestinian. Gitai however is more interested in decomposing the historical myth rather than building or describing it.

There are a few good moments in this film. Gitai likes long shots, and the first scene of the film is a beautiful rendition of the immigrants boat, with a nice passing from private to very public life. Another set of scenes represent the communication, or rather the lack of communication between the groups in the new country - immigrants from Europe still in shock after the horrors of the Holocaust, local Jews, prototypes of the 'new Israelis' full of confidence but lacking the understanding of the problems of other groups, displaced Arabs, mis-guided by their leaders and terrorized by the show of force of the Jews starting the long march that will become some day the Palestinian refugees problem, opera-style British troops, all these groups of humans get together in well filmed scenes, but do not really communicate. This is one of the problems that lay at the origin of the Israeli-Arab conflict seems the author to say.

Despite some memorable scenes, the film does not come together as a consistent piece of cinema. Characters get lost, show up and die too fast, they are more an idea of what they could be than real screen characters. The problem is not the lack of message, but the means - the author focuses in two monologues (by the displaced Arab, and by the Polish Jew immigrant) that say a lot about the continuity of conflict and about heroism being no more than a form of despair in front of the vicissitudes of history, but these are theatrical or literary monologues, without a connection with the film environment where they are placed. 'Kedma' is memorable by its setting and message, but not a good film to remember.

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