THESE WOODS

THESE WOODS

Director: Yael Kipper & Ronen Zaretzky (”Super Women”,”Child Mother”, ”Portrait”) / Israel 2021

Genre: Hybrid Film / Docu-Fiction
Category: Human Rights, Immigration, Society
Script: Yael Kipper, Ronen Zaretzky

Production: Turtles Films: Yael Kipper & Ronen Zaretzky, produced for Channel 8 – Hot Cable Communication, Israel

Supported by: The Makor Foundation for Israeli Films, The Gesher Multicultural Film Fund and The Avi Chai Foundation, Israel

CastOmri DavidHitham Omari, Lily Simone Ivgy, Tamara Galoz-EilayReuven Abergel.
Language: Hebrew, Maghrebi Arabic, French.

Subtitles: English
Length: 84 minutes

A docu-fiction film that deals with the employment solution that the young state of Israel offered to the new immigrants who came to it after its establishment. The film describes the realities of immigrant lives, the intersection of cultures and the personal, familial, and national change that was imposed upon them and that still resonates today.    

The events on which the plot axis is based occurred in 1961 in the Galilee Mountains. There, like many other places in young Israel, immigrants from North Africa were sent to do workfare jobs. The work mainly consisted of digging pits intended for planting tree seedlings that will grow to become forests. The aim was to provide immigrants with livelihood and employment, but things got complicated. The film describes the realities of immigrant lives, the intersection of cultures and the personal, familial, and national change that was imposed upon them and that still resonates today.

Festivals & Awards:

Solidarity Tel Aviv Human Rights Film Festival 2021: Israeli Feature Film Competition:
The Best Israeli Feature Film Award was awarded to These Woods:
Jury’s justification: 
“The film contends with the workfare of the 1950s and 60s – the employment offered by the young State of Israel to new immigrants who arrived after the establishment of the State. The film’s original cinematic language emphasizes the trauma and suffering of the workfare workers. The precise and expressive cinematography, the thorough research, and the credible performances together with the authentic use of the different languages of origin, all give the viewer a powerful and meaningful experience, as well as food for thought.”

Movie Reviews: 
* « A poetic, sensitive and painful film, which combines the documentary and the fiction to bring to the screen one of the most repressed and unspoken episodes from the early days of the state of Israel – Jewish immigrants from Arab countries who were employed in digging pits” »
Pits in the ground and scars on the soul: the eastern pressure workers who planted the KKL-JNF forests / Orly Noy / Local Call (Sikha Mekomit) News (Hebrew)

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