The Nathan Axelrod Newsreel Collection

Upon the Ruins

71 Minutes, 1938
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Directed by: Nathan Axelrod, Alfred Wolf
Cast: Yehuda Gabai, Danya Levine, Kelman Konstaniel, Yosef Cohen
Photographer: Nathan Axelrod
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

A big screen adaptation of author Zvi Lieberman’s children’s book of the same title. Young German Jewish teens arriving in the country at the Nahalat Achim youth village struggle to fit in amongst their native peers. When asked why they are being standoffish and will not join in on the singing and gameplaying, they reply that they can’t very well be happy as long as their parents are detained in concentration camps back in Germany. The youth councillor who has overheard this exchange and wants to help bring the kids together and to support the new immigrants, then tells them the historic tale of Galil El’s heroic youths who had stood up to the Roman occupier 2,000 years earlier. The majority of the film is comprised of the councillor’s story in which the youths rebuild their village after the Romans had destroyed it, just as the young German youths will now rebuild their lives in the (future) land of Israel.

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