The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive Collection

42:6 - Ben Gurion

103 Minutes, 1969
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Directed by: David Perlov
Cast: Israel Guryon, Alex Ansky, Avraham Ben Yosef
Language: Hebrew
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

Perlov’s second (and last) feature-length film is an experimental, modernist piece which stands out in the Israeli filmmaking landscape of the time. The film title is a reference to the Book of Isaiah 42:6, “I, the LORD, have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee free, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.” The film is an episodic, cinematic biography of David Ben-Gurion, from his days as a youth in Poland when he met Herzl in the town of Plonsk, through his move to Palestine/Israel, becoming leader, the days of the Independence War and the establishing of the State of Israel, signing the reparations agreement with Germany, and all the way to the making of this film – in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. Perlov’s film highlights all the key milestones in the leader’s life which it goes about doing in the tradition of the reflexive documentary, through the creator’s subjective and artistic point of view. The film goes back and forth between documentary and scripted scenes, black and white and technicolour, and even archival footage colourised in bold, artificial colours.

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