Sunday, June 3 at 7:30 pm at The Vic Theatre — The Victoria International Jewish Film Festival will launch its fourth season with a special pre-festival screening of the new film Ben-Gurion: Epilogue on Sunday, June 3, from 7:30-9:00 pm, at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas Street, Victoria. The 70-minute documentary is based on recently discovered archival interviews with Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. Five years after he retired from decades of political life to live on a small kibbutz in southern Israel, Ben-Gurion reflects on a variety of topics, both personal and political, in all of his brilliant and worldly complexity.
Sitting for these remarkable and long-lost interviews in 1968, Ben-Gurion reflects strikingly, in English, on his years in power. He reveals his pride, but also his qualms, about Israel’s path as a nation since its establishment in 1948. The film offers neither judgment nor celebration, but allows Ben-Gurion to reflect on topics ranging from his arrival in Palestine and desire to reinvent Jewish life, to his very modern understanding of the Bible, and his pragmatic but sometimes deeply unpopular political decisions.
“To see the documentary Ben-Gurion: Epilogue is to understand with greater insight the dilemmas and struggles of the early Jewish leaders of the young state of Israel,” said Lincoln Z. Shlensky, the VIJFF’s director. “As violence continues to permeate Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians and its neighbours, and as Israeli society increasingly is riven with social and religious conflicts, Ben-Gurion’s interviews in 1968 offer the remarkable portrait of a self-reflective leader unafraid to discuss his own sense of resolve alongside his doubts.”
This feature film will be preceded by a delightful Israeli short film, I’m from the Jews, written and directed by Aharon Shem-Tov, Niv Hachtili based on a story by Almog Behar about an Israeli teacher haunted by his Kurdish-Jewish grandfather.
This delightful fable examines the complexities around Israelis’ identity. A young man becomes possessed by his dead grandfather, forcing him to choose between his Arab family identity or continuing on with his life as an Israeli.
The June 3 screening is a special event that will serve as a pre-launch for the fourth Victoria International Jewish Film Festival, which will take place November 3-6, 2018, at the Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St., in Victoria. Tickets for the screening are $8 and are available at the festival website: VIJFF.ca. The VIJFF is presented by the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria.