Movie review of “Colliding Dreams”: Joseph Dorman and Oren Rudavsky directed this strong nonfiction film about the origins of Zionism. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
Ambitious and reflective, “Colliding Dreams” uses nonfiction sources to build a strong narrative around the history of Zionism — the attempt to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine — beginning with mass movements of Russian Jews fleeing pogroms in the 19th century.
Some ended up in Palestine before World War I, and millions died in the Holocaust that followed in Europe.
In 1948, as Israel became a nation, civil war erupted with the Arabs, which led to atrocities on both sides.
Movie Review ★★★
‘Colliding Dreams,’ a documentary directed by Joseph Dorman and Oren Rudavsky. 134 minutes. Not rated; suitable for general audiences. In Arabic, English and Hebrew, with English subtitles. Sundance Cinemas (21+).
Sharing the director credit, veteran filmmakers Joseph Dorman (“Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness”) and Oren Rudavsky (“The Treatment”) make skillful use of archival footage and talking heads — some of them hopeful, thoughtful activists from Peace Now — to suggest the changes that took place during more than a century of Zionism.
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A humiliating catastrophe for the Arabs, the Six-Day War of 1967 is shown to be a dramatic turning point. The 1995 assassination of Israel’s prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, changed the political landscape and led to bleak forecasts.
Familiar leaders come and go, styles in filmmaking shift, while historians suggest how little has fundamentally changed over the decades.
Some of this is exhausting and/or repetitious, but a shorter version might lack necessary depth.
The movie finds its most eloquent voices in comments that address post-1948 circumstances and sometimes achieve a sad kind of poetry.
“The whole tragedy,” explained the late novelist, Yoram Kaniuk, “was that … One nation came from hell, from Auschwitz. The other one we threw away.”