Skip to Main Content

Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to Israeli film

Film production in British-controlled Palestine can be traced back to the era of Jewish settlement in the 1920s. During this period and into the 1930s, European and Jewish filmmakers produced documentaries and informational propaganda films designed to show the settlement of Palestine in a positive light, including L’Chayim Hadashim/Land of Promise (Judah Leman, 1934) and Avodah (Helmar Lerski, 1935). The ‘Carmel Newsreels’ produced and directed by Nathan Axelrod provide a visual record of this foundational period, and Axelrod also acted as producer for the first Israeli-produced feature film, Oded Hanoded/Oded the Wanderer (Chaim Halachmi, 1932). Some films in Yiddish were screened during the 1930s, but these were subject to criticism from pro-Hebrew language campaigners (see yiddish cinema). After the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, a cycle of ‘ethnic films’ that addressed the experience of being Jewish in Palestine formed one part of a range of nation-building activities. Films valorizing the experience of the pioneers were popular at this time, as were Israeli versions of the war film, such as Giv’a 24 Eina Ona/Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer (Thorold Dickinson, 1954) and Hem Hayu Asarah/They Were Ten (Baruch Dienar, 1960), the latter the first Hebrew-language film to be distributed internationally.  ...

Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Israel, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 21 May. 2021

Searching the online catalog

You can use the subject heading below to find resources in the online catalog. The call number range is also included.

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Finding journal articles

Our collection does not have journals that cover Israeli cinema exclusively. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie titles

Find more Israeli films in the library's online catalog.