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Promised Lands (1974)

Not Rated | | Documentary, War | 19 December 1974 (France)
This is Susan Sontag's documentary about Israel, shot during the Yom Kippur war. Much of it is strictly observational.

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This is Susan Sontag's documentary about Israel, shot during the Yom Kippur war. Much of it is strictly observational, though there are some effectively didactic juxtapositions -- and several talking heads from across the Israeli political spectrum. Some might object that the Palestinians, whose fate is discussed in terms both cynical and sympathetic, don't have their own voice in the film, but the limits of the films can also be said to give it a formal coherence. Those who know Sontag's work in general will find her usual searching intelligence, compassion, and fearlessness here. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Documentary | War

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Not Rated
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Release Date:

19 December 1974 (France)  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$797, 7 February 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,546
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Anti-Jewish Israeli Propaganda Film
22 November 2013 | by See all my reviews

Promised Lands is both an Israeli propaganda film and an antisemitic film.

It was created with a random walk through Israel circa 1968 filming random things, interviewing random anonymous people, and watching ordinary Israelis, mostly soldiers, going about their business. Then the audio clips and video clips were thrown on the floor, then picked up in random order and spliced to form the movie. It other words, it has no structure and the audio usually has little to do with the video.

The basic theme is that Israel is a 100% innocent victim. Arabs hate Jews for no reason, the same as the Nazis. Arabs are worthless stupid people. Their only hope is to rub shoulders with Jews hoping some of their wonderfulness will rub off. It portrays Jews as smug and conceited.

The film carefully avoids the reason for Arab hostility namely the invasion of Palestine in 1948, the setting up of an apartheid state, the confiscation of their lands and the genocide of the Palestinian population.


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