The Israel Film Fund Collection

Avanti Popolo

84 Minutes, 1986
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Directed by: Rafi Bukai
Cast: Salim Dau, Dani Roth, Suhel Haddad, Danny Segev, Barry Langford, Tuvia Gelber
Production Company:Department of Film and Television, TAUKastel Communications Ltd.
Photographer: Yoav Kosh
Languages: Arabic, Hebrew, English
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

On the 30-year anniversary of its release, Rafi Bukai’s 1986 masterpiece has come back to life thanks to a restored copy that is now available to you for your online streaming pleasure. The film takes viewers to the final day of the Six-Day War as it follows a pair of Egyptian soldiers wondering the Sinai deserts, trying to quench their thirst and get home safely. Their surreal journey takes them through encounters with a Bedouin shepherd who refuses to give them water, an abandoned UN jeep with a whiskey bottle inside, a British TV crew, and a unit of Israeli soldiers patrolling the dunes. Rafi Bukai, who passed away in 2003 was the first Israeli filmmaker to have taken a close and intimate look at the war – demonstrating tremendous courage, ample talent, and measured use of humour – from an Arab point of view. The end result was crowned, “an artistic feat, joined by a humanist message, clever use of locations, precise directing, and exceptional acting” (Meir Schnitzer). The restored copy was produced courtesy of the Ostrovsky Family Fund, the Israel Film Fund, the Micha Shagrir Collection, and the Austrian Hospice and is the initiative of the Jerusalem Film Festival and the Israeli Film Archive.

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