Coming to DVD today, Tuesday, September 20: COLLIDING DREAMS
Joseph Dorman and Oren Rudavsky’s examination of the history of Zionism premiered at the New York Jewish Film Festival last year. Screenings followed at Other Israel and at Jewish fests in San Francisco, Toronto, Miami, and Atlanta, among others.
Attempting to cover over one hundred years of a political ideology, Dorman and Rudavsky’s project runs over two hours, yet still feels like it barely scratches the surface. Notably, the film more or less concludes its historical overview with the assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, which took place twenty years ago. Beyond the army of talking head experts opining here, more recent viewpoints are chiefly represented through occasional, not particularly illuminating man-on-the-street interviews. Leaving that aside, the film does an admirable job of laying the groundwork for Zionism, locating its emergence as a response to anti-Semitism born of European secular nationalism moreso than religious difference. Tracing the nascent movement’s growth from Jewish Austrian Theodore Herzl’s World Zionist Organization to the eventual British support of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, the film doesn’t dwell on the Holocaust very long before moving on the nation’s establishment and the 1948 war, after which, it’s declared, Zionism paused for a time. Only in the aftermath of the Six Day War, nearly twenty years later, does it emerge, torn in different directions as the contentious issues of settlements, occupation, and a two-state solution come to the fore. As a whole, while it at times feels too academic – the intermittent narration doesn’t help it here – and comes to no clear conclusion, striving as it does for balanced viewpoints, it serves as an informative primer for the complex, ongoing story of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.