Zeev Havatzelet (1922-1962) was a composer, lyricist, and film director. In the military, Havatzelet held the post of Culture Officer in the Nachal Brigade and as part of his job, he helped to establish the IDF’s music ensemble, Lehakat Hanachal (The Nachal Group), penning a number of songs for the group in its early days – with the most popular one being Ne’achez Bekol Mishlat (‘we shall hold onto every outpost.’) At the end of the 1950s, he headed to Italy to study film. On his return, he began experimenting with directing a number of shorts. In 1963, Havatzelet directed his one and only feature film, What a Gang, based on a novel of the same title by Israel Wissler (aka ‘Puchu.) Just days before the film premiere, Havatzelet was tragically killed in a tractor accident. And though it is the only feature-length film he got to make, this iconic work that explored the image and persona of the native Israeli (aka ‘Sabra’), enshrined Havatzelet’s name in the history of Israeli cinema.

Feature

What a Gang!

Directed by Zeev Havatzelet, 1963
חבורה שכזאת
Rental English subs.

88 min.

Short Film

The Director, the Film, and Nahal

Directed by Zeev Havatzelet
הבמאי, הסרט והנח"ל

13 min.

Feature

Because the Day Is Coming

Directed by Yehuda Tremo
כי בא היום

22 min.

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