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Censored Voices – Film Review

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Censored Voices – Film Review by Frank L.

Directed by Mor Loushy

Writers: Mor Loushy, Daniel Sivan

Ever since its foundation in 1948 as an independent sovereign state Israel has had a relationship with her neighbours Egypt, Syria and Jordan that has been fraught. There was a war when the state was founded, there was the Suez debacle and then there was in 1967 what came to be known as the Six Day War. Colonel Nasser, the then President of Egypt, in May of that year was amassing troops on the Suez Canal and had shut the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping. As the tensions mounted the government of Israel felt that the very existence of their independent state was threatened by their three Arab neighbours. The Israelis decided that the best means of defence was to attack and on 5th June 1967 under the charismatic leadership of the black- eye- patched General Moshe Dayan they sent their tanks into Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Within six days the war was over and Israel had created a state that has borders which are similar to what they are today. However the intervening years has not made Israel any more secure and one of the contributing factors to that insecurity may be how the Israelis behaved immediately after the termination of the six day war to the Arab peoples who now had a government of occupation from their point of view.

Loushy has taken a series of interviews with reservists from various Kibbutzim which were made by Amos Oz in the immediate aftermath of the war. The interviewees were already having doubts about what had happened to the Arab civilians and some of the soldiers in the immediate aftermath of Israel’s comprehensive military victory. Their doubts are interspersed with contemporary footage of the recently conquered lands and reports from ABC news reporters. Some of the doubts of the interviewees almost fifty years later seem perspicacious. The historic interviews are complemented by some current interviews with the same speakers. On a positive note it is remarkable that the current Israeli government permitted the interviews to be shown which is to their credit, although the Israeli authorities had censored about 70% of the tapes in the past. This is a valuable film for anyone wishing to have a better understanding of the underlying sources of the current apparently intractable problems of the region. Loushy has created an important film and a brave one too.

 

Categories: Header, Movie Review, Movies

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