Greatest Israeli Film of All Time

by yotamwineer | created - 26 Dec 2014 | updated - 28 Jul 2018 | Public

those are the choices for the best israeli movies according to reviewers in the newspapper "ma'ariv" and the website "NRG" in 2013.

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1. Avanti popolo (1986)

84 min | Drama, War

June 11th 1967, the Six-Day War is over and the cease fire has just begun. We follow the journey of Gassan and Haled, two Egyptian soldiers whose only wish is to make their way through the ... See full summary »

Director: Rafi Bukai | Stars: Salim Daw, Suhel Haddad, Tuvia Gelber, Danny Segev

Votes: 377

2. Waltz with Bashir (2008)

R | 90 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

91 Metascore

An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.

Director: Ari Folman | Stars: Ari Folman, Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Ori Sivan

Votes: 56,908 | Gross: $2.28M

3. The Policeman (1971)

87 min | Comedy, Drama

Azulai is a policeman in Jaffa, whose incompetence is only matched by his soft-heartedness. His superiors want to send him to early retirement, but he would like to stay on the force, and ... See full summary »

Director: Ephraim Kishon | Stars: Shaike Ophir, Zaharira Harifai, Avner Hizkiyahu, Itzko Rachamimov

Votes: 725

4. Life According to Agfa (1992)

100 min | Drama

The film takes place in Tel Aviv, much of it in a fictitious local pub called Barbie, a satirical nickname for a famous Israeli mental health institution. The pub's name hints at the ... See full summary »

Director: Assi Dayan | Stars: Gila Almagor, Akram Tillawi, Smadar Kilchinsky, Tsipor Aizen

Votes: 584

5. Sallah (1964)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

The sharp, often hilarious satire that became the most successful film in Israeli history (until that time) is about new immigrants Sallah and his family, who are left in a shack near their... See full summary »

Director: Ephraim Kishon | Stars: Topol, Geula Nuni, Gila Almagor, Albert Cohen

Votes: 1,008

6. But Where Is Daniel Wax? (1972)

94 min | Drama

10 years after he left Israel and "played it big-time in America", Benny Shpitz returns for a visit, self-exploring his youth, friends, dreams, beliefs and idol, Daniel Wax, who symbolized ... See full summary »

Director: Avraham Heffner | Stars: Lior Yieniy, Yishai Shahar, Esther Zewko, Yael Heffner

Votes: 85

7. Peeping Toms (1972)

90 min | Comedy

Gote and Eli are two aging friends who don't want to age. Gote is a lifeguard who's fighting peepers on the Tel-Aviv beach. Eli is a guitar player who dreams of building a night club in Altman's restaurant.

Director: Uri Zohar | Stars: Arik Einstein, Uri Zohar, Sima Eliyahu, Mona Silberstein

Votes: 450

8. Lebanon (2009)

R | 93 min | Drama, War

85 Metascore

During the First Lebanon War in 1982, a lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town.

Director: Samuel Maoz | Stars: Yoav Donat, Itay Tiran, Oshri Cohen, Michael Moshonov

Votes: 11,411 | Gross: $0.37M

9. Footnote (2011)

PG | 107 min | Comedy, Drama

83 Metascore

Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are father and son as well as rival professors in Talmudic Studies. When both men learn that Eliezer will be lauded for his work, their complicated relationship reaches a new peak.

Director: Joseph Cedar | Stars: Shlomo Bar-Aba, Lior Ashkenazi, Aliza Rosen, Alma Zack

Votes: 5,953 | Gross: $2.01M

10. My Father My Lord (2007)

Not Rated | 72 min | Drama

A respected rabbi is forced to come to terms with the demands of his faith and the welfare of his own family.

Director: David Volach | Stars: Assi Dayan, Ilan Griff, Sharon Hacohen, Roni Aharon

Votes: 472 | Gross: $0.11M

11. Halfon Hill Doesn't Answer (1976)

92 min | Comedy

Swindler Sergio Konstanza owes money to Mr. Hasson. He escapes to the desert where he joins a wacky Army reserve unit whose Sergeant has his eye on one of Mr. Hasson's daughters, although ... See full summary »

Director: Assi Dayan | Stars: Yisrael Poliakov, Gavri Banai, Shaike Levi, Nitza Shaul

Votes: 1,408

12. Big Eyes (1974)

75 min | Comedy, Drama

Benny Furman is a basketball headcoach who can't decide what he realy wants.

Director: Uri Zohar | Stars: Alona Einstein, Arik Einstein, Sima Eliyahu, Yisrael Segal

Votes: 180

13. The Band's Visit (2007)

PG-13 | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

80 Metascore

A band comprised of members of the Egyptian police force head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, only to find themselves lost in the wrong town.

Director: Eran Kolirin | Stars: Sasson Gabay, Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri, Khalifa Natour

Votes: 13,324 | Gross: $3.05M

14. Eastern Wind (1982)

88 min | Drama

Named after the hot desert wind that periodically blows through the Middle East sending temperatures and tempers soaring to potentially explosive heights. Set in an old farming village in ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Wachsmann | Stars: Shlomo Tarshish, Yasein Shawaf, Ruth Geller, Hemda Levi

Votes: 48

15. The Big Dig (1969)

95 min | Comedy

A slapstick comedy lampooning bureaucracy and the madness of everyday life in Israel centers on an escaped lunatic who digs up the streets of Tel-Aviv with a drill.

Director: Ephraim Kishon | Stars: Bomba Tzur, Nissim Azikri, Shraga Friedman, Avner Hizkiyahu

Votes: 626

16. Ajami (2009)

Not Rated | 124 min | Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

Ajami is the religiously mixed community of Muslims and Christians in Tel Aviv. These are five stories about the everyday life in Ajami.

Directors: Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani | Stars: Fouad Habash, Nisrin Siksik, Elias Saba, Youssef Sahwani

Votes: 6,175 | Gross: $0.62M

17. Beaufort (2007)

Unrated | 131 min | Action, Drama, War

The story of a group of Israeli soldiers stationed in an outpost prior to the withdrawal of forces of 2000.

Director: Joseph Cedar | Stars: Alon Aboutboul, Adi Adouan, Ya'akov Ahimeir, Guy Apriat

Votes: 4,658 | Gross: $0.10M

18. Broken Wings (2002)

R | 87 min | Drama

75 Metascore

Daphne and her four children try to cope with the abrupt death of husband/father. As the family seems to fall apart, a sudden incident gives them a chance to heal their 'broken wings'.

Director: Nir Bergman | Stars: Orly Silbersatz, Maya Maron, Nitai Gvirtz, Daniel Magon

Votes: 2,415 | Gross: $0.41M

19. Thirst (2004)

Not Rated | 109 min | Drama

A family of five, their two goats and donkey live in the middle of nowhere far from their village home. They earn meager living by producing & selling charcoal, made from the surrounding ... See full summary »

Director: Tawfik Abu Wael | Stars: Hussein Yassin Mahajne, Amal Bweerat, Ruba Blal, Jamila Abu Hussein

Votes: 317

20. Late Marriage (2001)

Unrated | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

Zaza is a 31-year old Israeli bachelor, handsome and intelligent, and his family wants to see him married. But tradition dictates that Zaza has to choose a young virgin. She must be ... See full summary »

Director: Dover Koshashvili | Stars: Lior Ashkenazi, Ronit Elkabetz, Moni Moshonov, Lili Koshashvili

Votes: 3,276 | Gross: $1.55M

21. Diary 1973-1983 (1983)

330 min | Documentary

Shot over a ten-year period, Diary is not only the political, professional, and personal diary of a man, but is a testimony on the turbulent reality of a war-torn country, Israel. In six ... See full summary »

Director: David Perlov | Stars: David Perlov, Mira Perlov, Yael Perlov, Neomi Perlov

Votes: 153

22. Late Summer Blues (1987)

101 min | Drama, Romance

A group of close friends celebrate the bittersweet changes coming to their lives during the summer of their high-school graduation: adult responsibilities, adult romance -- and the ... See full summary »

Director: Renen Schorr | Stars: Dor Zweigenboim, Yoav Tzafir, Shahar Segal, Omri Dolev

Votes: 281

23. Fictitious Marriage (1988)

90 min | Drama

Eldad is about to go abroad, but changes his mind at the last minute. Instead of going home to Jerusalem, he disguises himself and takes a cheap hotel room in Tel Aviv. There he meets the ... See full summary »

Director: Haim Bouzaglo | Stars: Shlomo Bar-Aba, Irit Sheleg, Adib Jahschan, Adiv Shagen

Votes: 83

24. The Band (1978)

112 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Comedic musical, about an army singing group.

Director: Avi Nesher | Stars: Gidi Gov, Liron Nirgad, Sassi Keshet, Doval'e Glickman

Votes: 412

25. Or (My Treasure) (2004)

Unrated | 97 min | Drama, Romance

64 Metascore

Or shoulders a lot: she's 17 or 18, a student, works evenings at a restaurant, recycles cans and bottles for cash, and tries to keep her mother Ruthie from returning to streetwalking in Tel... See full summary »

Director: Keren Yedaya | Stars: Dana Ivgy, Ronit Elkabetz, Meshar Cohen, Katia Zinbris

Votes: 1,526 | Gross: $0.03M

26. The House on Chelouche Street (1973)

PG | 110 min | Drama

A fatherless family immigrates to Israel from Egypt during the British Mandate period. The film traces the hardships the family suffers in the politically unstable country.

Director: Moshé Mizrahi | Stars: Gila Almagor, Shaike Ophir, Yosef Shiloach, Michal Bat-Adam

Votes: 237

28. Love Sick (1995)

94 min | Comedy, Drama

The touching story of Victor, who lives with his mother in the REALLY bad part of town and runs an illegal TV cable station. One day he sees the beautiful Michaela and falls madly in love ... See full summary »

Director: Savi Gabizon | Stars: Avigail Ariely, Asher Atlas, Hanna Azoulay Hasfari, Shmil Ben Ari

Votes: 215

29. Rage and Glory (1984)

118 min | Drama, History

An avowed anarchist and Stern Gang hitman is sent to Jerusalem to assassinate a senior British officer creating much tension within the already troubled cell and almost brings its collapse,... See full summary »

Director: Avi Nesher | Stars: Juliano Mer-Khamis, Roni Pinkovitch, Hanna Azoulay Hasfari, Tuvia Gelber

Votes: 81

30. Bar 51 (1986)

R | 95 min | Crime, Drama

After the mother's death, the siblings leave the family home and go to Tel Aviv. They both intend to start a new life. They meet the transgender Apolonia, the owner of Bar 51, who offers them help and work.

Director: Amos Guttman | Stars: Smadar Kilchinsky, Juliano Mer-Khamis, Ada Valerie-Tal, Rahel Shor

Votes: 57

31. The Summer of Aviya (1988)

95 min | Biography, Drama

A ten year old girl spends her summer with her overly protective mother, a mentally scarred holocaust survivor, while hopefully trying to find her real father in the newly established state of Israel.

Director: Eli Cohen | Stars: Gila Almagor, Kaipu Cohen, Eli Cohen, Marina Rossetti

Votes: 397

32. Hole in the Moon (1964)

90 min | Comedy

A new immigrant, Tzelnik, arrives at the port of Jaffa. He goes to live in the Negev desert where he opens a kiosk in the middle of nowhere. Mizrachi comes along and opens a competing ... See full summary »

Director: Uri Zohar | Stars: Uri Zohar, Avraham Heffner, Arik Lavie, Shmulik Kraus

Votes: 148

33. Amazing Grace (1992)

Unrated | 95 min | Drama

Against the backdrop of AIDS, the film explores two families, each with a gay son. Jonathan is splitting from Miki because the more experienced Miki is playing around. Then Jonathan sees ... See full summary »

Director: Amos Guttman | Stars: Sharon Alexander, Aki Avni, Dvora Bartonov, Ishai Golan

Votes: 163

34. Shiva (2008)

103 min | Drama, Romance

When one of the brothers (Ohayn) dies, all the whole family comes for Shiva (Jewish tradition,when the family sits seven days at the home after the death one of their family). A large ... See full summary »

Directors: Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz | Stars: Ronit Elkabetz, Moshe Ivgy, Yaël Abecassis, Albert Iluz

Votes: 539

35. Into the Night (1985)

97 min | Drama

A common crisis changes the complicated relationship between a father and his middle-aged son, both trapped in unhappy marriages.

Director: Eitan Green | Stars: Assi Dayan, Yosef Millo, Orna Porat, Dani Roth

Votes: 22

36. Paratroopers (1977)

90 min | Drama

Not everyone is born to be a soldier. Not even in Israel, where universal conscription is the tradition. This movie is about a Sad Sack in the Israeli army, incompetent to complete training... See full summary »

Director: Judd Ne'eman | Stars: Gidi Gov, Moni Moshonov, Shlomo Bar-Aba, Doval'e Glickman

Votes: 78

37. Chronicle of a Disappearance (1996)

88 min | Drama

A Palestinian expatriate filmmaker (Elia Suleiman) documents the loss of national identity in Israel's Arab population.

Director: Elia Suleiman | Stars: Elia Suleiman, Nazira Suleiman, Fuad Suleiman, Ali Suliman

Votes: 675

38. Sh'Chur (1994)

100 min | Drama

A Westernized teenager struggles to come to terms with the white magic practiced by members of her family.

Director: Shmuel Hasfari | Stars: Gila Almagor, Ronit Elkabetz, Eti Adar, Louise Asher

Votes: 137

40. Kazablan (1973)

PG | 122 min | Musical

An embittered gang leader seeks the respect of his neighbors and the love of a young woman.

Director: Menahem Golan | Stars: Yehoram Gaon, Efrat Lavie, Arieh Elias, Etti Grotes

Votes: 313

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