Baruch Agadati was a dancer, painter, and local film industry pioneer. Born in Bessarabia, Agadati in his youth trained as a classical ballet dancer at a prominent ballet school in Odessa, despite his father’s fierce protests. In 1910, at the age of 15, he moved to Palestine and studied Art at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. Agadati’s role in the evolution of Tel Aviv’s cultural scene (and Israel’s, as a whole) cannot be stated enough. He choreographed numerous dance productions, produced various Purim galas inspired by the Venice Masquerade Ball, organised the country’s first ever beauty pageant, and began the tradition of the annual Purim parade – the Adloyada.
Towards the end of the 1920s, Agadati started branching out into film. In 1929, he teamed up with his brother, Yitzhak, and directed Tel Aviv Diary. Next, in 1931, he made the first ever Hebrew animated film, The Adventures of Gadi Ben Sossi who is Arduously Looking for Work and whom the Good Lord Blesses with Miracles and Wonders (aka ‘Harpatekotav shel Gadi Ben Sossi’); then in 1964, he directed the film Tomorrow’s Yesterday.
Perhaps above all else, Agadati is remembered for his 1935 film, This is the Land – the first ever Hebrew ‘talkie’. The film, comprised of scripted scenes alongside archival footage, featured the many faces of the country’s burgeoning Jewish communities, highlighting all the hope and the tireless construction, along with the hardships, struggles, and moments of despair.


Adventures Of Gadi Ben Sossi

Directed by Baruch Agadati, 1931
הרפתקאותיו של גדי בן סוסי
English subs.

8 min.


Oasis (Legend and Reality in Ein Gedi)

Directed by Baruch Agadati
נווה במדבר (אגדה ומציאות בעין גדי)

13 min.

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