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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
From Us to Me: Israeli Film Between Nationalism and Individually 1964-1994: Volume One the First Directors by Dror Izhar is a non-fiction, compelling study on the evolution of filmmaking in Israel, exploring the impact of sociopolitical realities on the film industry. In this work, the author asks very critical and important questions that demonstrate how Israel found its voice in the film industry, identifying trends and considering whether nationalistic aspects of culture influenced art. Did it fight to retain a unique voice? Was it a servile Soviet-like industry in its earliest times? Or was it a rebellious art form? In this book, the author discusses national cinema theories, examines the socio-political and cultural period between 1960-1962, and the advent of individual cinema.
From Us to Me is very informative and while it is focused on Israeli cinema, it also reflects the ethos of the Israeli people and how the filmmaking industry shifted over the years, with a focus on individual voices. Works of great Israeli filmmakers like Ephraim Kishon’s Sallah Shabatti (1964), Baruch Dienar’s They Were Ten (1960), and the works of Uri Zohar, an Orthodox Anti Zionist rabbi, are examined. This book is well-researched and filled with cultural and social commentaries that readers will find interesting and informative. Written with relevant references, From Us to Me is a strong reference to culture and a world that readers will want to explore. From Us to Me by Dror Izhar is the first volume in a series, an interesting and hugely informative read for anyone interested in the Israeli film industry.