The Israel Film Fund Collection

Burning Land

92 Minutes, 1984
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Directed by: Serge Ankri
Cast: Meir Suissa, Jacques Ovadiah, Dalia Malka
Photographer: Yaakov Eisenman
Languages: French, Hebrew
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

In the early 1950s at a small Tunisian village, a Jewish family patriarch’s world is about to be upended: his Arab neighbours are trying to strip him of his property and usurp his land, whilst his three boys are all threatening to leave the village. His eldest marries a French woman and is now set on immigrating to France; his middle child sets off to the big city; then there’s his youngest, a Zionist who is intent on moving to Israel. Their father must grapple with the rapidly changing reality around him, whilst reassessing the traditions and values he had lived his whole life by. The film, which boasts an understated realism aesthetic using lengthy shot sequences and a predominantly amateur cast, won the Critics’ Choice Award at the 1987 Torino International Festival of Young Cinema.

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