10534 East and West in Israeli Cinema 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Film Studies

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including one of the following: Understanding Movies: Introduction to the Art of Cinema or Israeli Fiction and Cinema, as well as one additional course in Film Studies, or one of the following: From ‘National Home’ to a ‘State in the Making’: The Jewish Community in Palestine between the World Wars, Trends in Israeli Society, Mass Media in Israel. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Recommended: Modern Literary and Cultural Theory: An Introduction

Author: Ella Shochat

The course focuses on one of the central conflicts of Israeli society: Ashkenazi-Sephardi relations, and traces its representation in Israeli cinema. It addresses the attitude of Israeli society towards the Orient and Orientalism, as well as the application of these attitudes to the representation of Israeli-Palestinian relations. It also examines the development of Israeli identity as depicted in cinematic works.

Topics: Social and cultural background; Western discourse and its possible modes of expression in cinema; Cinema in pre-State Israel as a branch of Zionist ideology; Representation of the Oriental “other,” especially the Arab, in national Zionist movies made after the establishment of the State, and following the Six Day War; The representation of the Sephardi Jew vs. the Ashkenazi Jew; The alternative to the dominant-Western system of representation and the possibility of creating a different Oriental image; Personal cinema in the 1960s and 1970s; Branching of personal cinema into criticism of Israeli militarism; The transition from personal cinema to protest movies following and resulting from the Lebanon War; Changes in modes of representation of the Sephardi Jew in the 1990s.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course although it is not required.