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Jerusalem - Light is Shining Through

Micha Shagrir
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A great many Israeli film directors started out making adverts at Micha Shagrir and Dan Arazi’s production company, Castel. This advert, directed by Ron Ninio (Arab Labor, A Touch Away), is an ode to Jerusalem, made to bring in the tourists by the droves. Commissioned by the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Israeli Hotel Association, the film gives the young, fresh, and vibrant Jerusalem its big onscreen debut – a Jerusalem teeming with bars, music, and gigs.
The film features one of the most played US singer-songwriters of the period – Don McLean, who wrote the timeless classic, American Pie. McLean, whose then-partner was Jewish had visited Israel frequently in the 1970s and ‘80s. He was approached to appear in the film with one of his original songs, Jerusalem, that would later become an international hit.
The youthful, bustling, devil-may-care atmosphere of 1981 Jerusalem was captured on seasoned Israeli cinematographer, Yahin Hirsch’s camera, through the point of view of a young Ron Ninio at the directing helm. The film, which opens with an imposing, lumbering crane shot of Damascus Gate and the Old City, ends with singing and dancing at a smokey bar in the town centre, packed full of young, happy-go-lucky Jerusalemite punters.