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The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers (2013)

Based on the best- selling book by Ambassador Yehuda Avner, The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers takes the audience inside the offices of Israel's Prime Ministers through the eyes of an ... See full summary »

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Director: Richard Trank
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Golda Meir (voice)
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Yitzhak Rabin (voice)
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Levi Eshkol (voice)
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Menachem Begin (voice)
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Based on the best- selling book by Ambassador Yehuda Avner, The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers takes the audience inside the offices of Israel's Prime Ministers through the eyes of an insider, Yehuda Avner, who served as a chief aide, English language note-taker and speechwriter to Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, and Shimon Peres. The first of two parts, The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers focuses on Ambassador Avner's years working with Prime Ministers Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir and then US Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin and reveals new details about the Six-Day War, the development of Israel's close strategic relationship with the United States, the fight against terrorism, the Yom Kippur War and its aftermath. In the spring of 2014, the second film based on Ambassador Avner's book, The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers, will be released, examining Ambassador Avner's experiences with Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres as well as his... Written by Richard Trank

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18 October 2013 (USA)  »

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Like having a seat at the table of history
9 March 2014 | by (Cincinnati) – See all my reviews

"The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers" (2013 release; 114 min.) is the first of a 2 part, 4 hour documentary based on the bestselling book "The Prime Ministers: An Intimate Narrative of Israeli Leadership" by Yehuda Avner. Avner served for 4 decades in various capacities at the ISraeli government, including being Ambassador to the UK, and as Speechwriter and Secretary to Prime Ministers Levi Eshkol and Golda Meir, among many other roles.

Several comments: In this first movie, after an introduction on Avner's background (borin in Manchester in the late 20s) and how he came to Israel, we get Avner's accounts of what Prime Ministers Eshkel and Meir were like. It is clear that Avner hold Meir in particular high esteem, as he speaks reverently about her. Second, besides the narrative from Avner, what is particularly interesting is the archival footage and pictures that accompany Avner's narration. Check out President Johnson's hosting of Eshkel and his entourage (including Avner) at Johnson's vast ranch in Texas in 1967, priceless! Third, at times (but thankfully not too often), some historical conversations are re-enacted by voice-overs, including Sandra Bullock voicing Golda Meir, and Leonard Nimoy voicing Levi Eshkol. Fourth, it still amazes when you look back to certain moments in time, such as: Israel hanging on for dear life in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and when the US is getting ready to send over equipment to help Israel, NOT A SINGLE European country allowed the American planes to land for refueling purposes. Just wow. Last, there is a nice orchestral score to this documentary, composed by Lee Holdridge and performed by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra.

This just opened at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati and the screening I saw this at was not very well attended, regretfully. That said, for me personally the documentary flew by in no time, I couldn't believe when the house lights came on. I enjoyed this quite a bit, and most likely I will also check out the second part (called "Soldiers and Peacemakers"), which will be out later in 2014. If you have an interest in world history, or simply want to see what a great leader can do for a country, you'll definitely want to check this out. "The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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