The Pillar of Fire

74 Minutes, 1959
Genre:
Feature
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Directed by: Larry Frisch
Production:Yitzhak Agadati, Mordechai Navon, Larry Frisch
Production Company:Geva-Frisch FilmsGeva Films
Photographer: Haim Schreiber
Language: English
| Subtitles not available

Director Larry Frisch’s feature, which also marked Geva Studios’ second big screen commercial release, is part of the heroic-nationalist genre that dominated Israeli filmmaking in the 1950s and ‘60s – films that glorified and valourised the Zionist ethos and the mythical figure of the ‘Sabra’ [the uber-masculine, land-working native Israeli – EE] and were primarily meant for foreign distribution (which is the very reason why the whole film is in English.)
A small armed force, comprising members of the heavily bombarded Kibbutz Revivim, goes out on an assignment beyond enemy lines, as Israel’s 1948 War of Independence rages on. The mission: decommission the Egyptians’ armoured corps who have been shelling the kibbutz relentlessly, and rescue a military scout – an American volunteer left in the battlefield. The force is attempting to return to the kibbutz and report back on the northbound advancement of Egyptian tanks, en route to destroy a major Israeli city, but encounter many hurdles along the way – including a love triangle between the commander of the force who is in love with female scout, Rachel, whose heart belongs to the MIA American volunteer.

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