The Israel Film Service Collection

Let My People Go!

26 Minutes, 1971
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Directed by: Unknown
Production Company:Israel Film Service
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

An English-speaking documentary reviewing the condition of Soviet Jews in 1970 against the backdrop of persecuting Jews throughout the USSR, the prevention of Jewish immigration to Israel and the monitoring and supervision of Jewish communities by the Soviet regime. The film depicts the event of The Dymshits–Kuznetsov aircraft hijacking affair, also known as “Operation Wedding”, in which Jews who were Zionist activists and denied of immigrating to Israel, hijacked an empty plane in St. Petersburg (Leningrad) with the intention of fleeing the country, but were arrested beforehand, and sentenced to long prison terms. Upon immense pressure by the international community and demonstrations held in cities around the world, including in Israel, in support of the Prisoners of Zion in the USSR, the sentences were commuted. The film delivers the voices of russian Jews from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Riga, who share their lives behind the Iron Curtain, such as secret celebration in the thick of the forest of Israel’s Independence Day, eavesdropping to phone lines of citizens, and reveal what it means to be a Jew behind the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union of the 1970s.

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