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Directed by Joseph Dorman, Oren Rudavsky

Israel

This ambitious examination of the origins, meaning and future of the Jewish national movement chronicles birth at a moment of crisis to the thriving democracy of today. The film opens in the shtetls of Eastern Europe, and then recounts the early settlement of Palestine and the resulting Arab clashes, the evolution of disputed occupied territories, the rise of the revisionist movement, and the ensuing ideological debate over Zionist ideals. Resisting one-sided historical interpretations, Dorman and Rudavsky take a multifaceted approach to a polarizing subject, weaving interviews with politicians, academics, and activists—both Israeli and Palestinian—among exceptional archival footage. At a time when Israel’s direction is questioned by friends and enemies more than ever, The Zionist Idea seeks to contextualize the triumphs and trials of the Jewish homeland.