Film: 5348

Places + Locations | 1960 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Concerned with the development of Israel. Shows the poverty some Jews live in and how society is changing. Good contrast to Boy of Bethlehem, as neither group mentions the other sides plight.

Aerial view of city in Israel, with hotels, shops and a vast crowd of people walking in the streets. Six aircraft fly through the sky and leave trails of smoke behind them. They fly low over the town. Through the streets ride policemen on motorbikes, watched by crowds seated on stands by the roadside and with Israeli flags flying from poles in the breeze. Past a platform with two army officials and two members of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) on, drive jeeps with navy officers in. Whilst driving towards the platform one man from each of the jeeps stands to attention. The crowds consist of people of various ages, some old, young, some with skull caps on, some not. Tanks roll through the town. As one tank passes the camera, we see the two men in it, one wearing a beret, one wearing a helmet. Soldiers walk past the platform holding flag poles with various flags on, including the Israeli one. Due to the sun, many of the crowd are wearing sunglasses, and it appears as if an Arab is in the crowd. Female conscripts march past the platform. All look serious and march in time.

Side view of a boy's eyes and nose. He is sitting at a desk, with dark hair, dressed in a white and blue stripped shirt, answering a question when he is asked. Another boy talks to someone next to him. The classroom has displays on the walls, geography books in front of the children, who are both girls and boys, many of whom know the answer to the question set by the female teacher. One boy at the front tries to get her attention by saying the answer; others wait patiently. One boy looks bored, as his classmates try to answer questions. With her hands together, a girl listens to what the teacher has to say. Standing at the front of the class is the teacher, in a white dress, with a map stuck to the blackboard behind her. Thinking hard, a boy answers her question. A fellow pupil watches with a biro in her mouth. Two boys sit, one behind the other and the school bell rings. Clearing up the children prepare to leave. Books are closed. The door to the classroom opens out to the playground. They run down steps, carrying their school bags. As the classroom is cleared, one boy remains behind. As she gets ready to leave, the teacher asks him a question. He nods, pen poised to continue and is left alone.

Filled with branches, a drainage hole leads up to two small children, who are playing near their home, made of wood. There are several houses like this one, all looking run down and with washing hanging from the line. This woman lives in one and walks into her front door. All her furniture is crammed into a corner, with three beds and a dresser in another room.

Back at school, the lone boy remains working at his desk. Living in one of these homes, means he can't work effectively. At school, he can work in the peace and quiet. Close up of his face. He cannot join his classmates in their game of football. Playing in the street they are in the way as a bus turns the corner. The driver steers clear of them as well as two boys on roller skates. Back in the classroom the pupil, eats a sandwich as he works. His concentration remains. Finally finished he gets up to leave. Running through the playground, with the school in the background and a basketball ring to his left, he sets off home.

When he reaches his neighbourhood, his friends are waiting and kick him a football, which he dribbles, whilst still holding his satchel. He is rather good and can relax after completing his work. However, the time comes to carry on home and he waves goodbye to his friends.

Home is surrounded by patchy grass and a loose goat. The toilet is outside in a shed and the whole area is surrounded by a wire fence. He walks up a pathway. Directly outside the front door, are two of his sisters and a younger brother; there are ten children in this family. None of the rooms have doors on and we see the boy walk into the bedroom, from another room. His mother is on one bed, changing his youngest sibling's nappy and his father is on another bed, with one of his son's lying reading a book; he asks his son a couple of questions and then after talking to his mother the boy leaves the room. His eldest sister is in the kitchen washing up, but when he walks in she makes him some dinner. She is probably around eighteen years old, with long dark hair.

Eventually, the family will be able to move into a new tower block like this one, clean and safe. Builder's materials outside the front, show us that this one is not yet complete. A truck drives past a worksite, where blocks of half finished flats stand. When they have been built, they quickly fill up with occupants. Washing hangs out over balconies, rapidly drying in the heat. A woman hangs out her washing.

Until they can move, people must live in small rooms. Five children, of various ages, sit on a grass verge. By these small homes, the makeshift swings are popular. A boy sits in a crate. Another two play with paper. One picks up scraps of newspaper.

Into a room, walks the boy left at school, as his elder brother is chatting to some children. He looks on and so do the children on the other bed. Close up of the eldest brother. Part of a poster shows a man yelling, dressed in a black and white stripped suit. The whole poster has four men on, all dressed the same.

A billboard poster of a man in a Mexican hat. Another poster advertises 'The Secret Of Nina Duprez', above a shop in a busy street. People hurry through the streets, on their way to their destination. Some go down into the subway, as a bus passes by. Moshe (Moses), has just left the army; he spits something out onto the ground, but continues chewing. Some in the town are demonstrating as they feel they aren't helped enough; these men and women want better housing. A policeman walks down into the subway, with other people. Moshe, dressed in black, sits on some steps and watches people walk by. He feels out of place and just watches. Life goes on, this man is sweeping the road outside his shop, wearing a cap and with his sleeves rolled up. Another man folds a flowery covered cloth. Although, Moshe is asked a question by this lady he seems to ignore her and she walks off. Carrying her shopping, a woman walks to a busy bus stop. The buses have to negotiate the vast crowds. Moshe looks lost in thought and seems unsure where he fits in. Others want to fit in and use banners like this to get their point across. These men want to work and are protesting at the levels of unemployment. Some use whistles. Aimed at a particular building, a man uses a loudspeaker to get the point across. People go and watch movies like the one advertised here, with a bald man hitting another man and two more ready to do the same. People walk past Moshe, too absorbed in their own lives to notice him. Three friends stand and chat, one of them smokes a cigarette. Moshe watches and a cart passes through the picture, with Moshe having lit a cigarette when this occurred. He feels displaced after the army.

In the forces, he was like these soldiers in uniform, carrying a gun and learning discipline. Watched by a commanding officer, soldiers make their beds. They must work quickly. As they finish the bed, they lay their possessions on them for inspection. They must remain clean shaven, and the bathroom is always full of soldiers shaving. Not only must they be clean, but so must their guns. A soldier has packed his things away and is reading a newspaper. Moshe, now feels unsure of his place in society.

The Arts are very important in Israel. A theatre is where some like to go, with a woman dressed in white flowing robes, holding a musical instrument above her head, dancing round kneeling men and a man on a throne. Three women kneel and bow to the man on the throne, while two other swoon. Playing the instrument, the man and woman, in white, perform together. Night outside a theatre. From the stage we see the audience seated and listening intently. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir are performing this evening. Other perform a play. The stage is empty, with closed curtains. A performance of 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'. A couple on stage embrace. They are watched by a man who then hides behind a curtain. Others prefer 'My Fair Lady' advertised on this poster. Some like this modern ballet. Close up of the dancers legs. The male dancers, spin the female dancers around. Artists are also popular, like this one seated with pictures around him on the walls. A drawing of a mother and child, both looking gaunt, is on top of a drawing of a woman, dressed in black robes. A chess board, with a black knight taking a white pawn. The timer is pressed. A player with glasses is watched by his opponent. There is a tournament as the whole room is full of players, milling around. The man awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Historians opens a letter at his table. Standing in his library he takes books off the shelves. Close up of him reading one. At his desk he writes a letter.

Sitting at a desk is a girl sitting an exam, with the paper in front of her. Another girl, writes frantically, as do other pupils in her row. Looking puzzled, a girl considers her answer. For those not academically minded, there is the chance to learn skills with electronics. In a workshop, boys work with turning machines, helped by the teacher if necessary. Children are taught the importance of keeping places clean and help pick up litter. They find chairs, paper and put them in rubbish bags, handing them to men on a truck. The pile is very large.

Children in the playground are skipping. Boys watch the girls, as a pair jump over the rope together. One child runs into school, carrying a book under their arm. Inside the school dining hall, children sit and eat their lunch, surrounded by dinner ladies, helping those who need it. The meals provided are hot. This boy watches as his food is ladled into his plate. A girl munches her lunch. It looks appealing. A girl laughs as she eats. The boy left to do his homework in the classroom, smiles at the camera.

On a stage is a set with two doors either side, with the audience waiting for the play to begin; an actor walks onto the stage. He has a robe on, with a white shirt underneath and begins his speech. The audience looks on intently, with one man laughing out loud. Another actor, also in costume, walks onto the stage and speaks. The audience reacts positively. As a fellow actor comes out onto stage, his colleague eats a piece of paper he has been reading, trying to speak as chews. A boy in the audience smiles. Two other boys laugh.

A crane, moves a cylinder pipe across a building site. The crane is by the sea. Long, spiky cogs turn. A factory in an area that looks deserted. A road way, built above the ground has been constructed to help people move more easily through the country. Inside a factory building, products sit waiting to be taken out. These people admire their clothing goods. As three try to construct a frame, a planner looks at his plans. View from top of building of factory production line. Men weld metal together. Kneeling, other workers do the same.

A middle aged man looks despondent. Sitting on a platform, with several others, a man attempts to explain to the workforce why cutbacks are needed. Some of the crowd heckle. Another worker tries to make his case. Hands go up for the vote. Close up of some of the workers. These men are having their days cut back.

A child plays with sand in a bowl. A man smokes. Outside a shack he talks to friends. A mother dresses her baby. A boy throws stones. He is standing in a patchy area of grass. Moshe walks past a beach. He leans on the railings and looks to the sea. On a platform, just by the sea, stands a man. Moshe walks up and down. Two men box in a ring. They duck and dive as they try to knock each other out. A winner is declared. A football match is played with spectators on the sidelines. A goal is saved. This one isn't. Cheers from the crowd.

By a town are ploughed fields. Sheep are being looked after, just at the side by a shepherd. Two machines cut the crop. Workers, men and women, collect the cut crop and put it in bundles. Close up of female worker with her head covered. The crops are very dry. More machines cut the crops. A mule pulls a man on a cart into the village. Walking past a herd of cows, in a pen, a visitor greets the farmer. The farmer came to Israel ten years ago. Both men light cigarettes and part company. View of the cattle. The farmer cleans out their pen. He then walks through a door, to be greeted by his wife, who directs him towards a man seated in the living room. In the kitchen his wife prepares refreshments. As the two men, sit and discuss their business, the wife places the refreshments on a table and then leaves them. In another home, children sit and study their books. The man who visited the farmer, then approaches a mother standing in a doorway, with her two children. He talks to her as she holds the hand of one child, eventually asking the man into her house. A small child sits on a sofa and chews her fingers. The woman and her guest walk into the room and sit down at a small table. Close up of woman's face.

A desolate farm, with rubbish scattered everywhere. In an exposed shelter, a lone cow stands. It chews on anything it can find. Cages, possibly for poultry, lie empty. A girl walks holding a doll, dressed in only shorts. A woman walks past her washing. Her husband walks over his land. A room of men sit and chat. They are all settlers, here to discuss various proposals. This man is listening intently. Leaders advise them as to how to proceed. One man makes a comment to his neighbour. Two men's discussion gets heated. Finally calm, they listen to others. One settler smokes his pipe. Another follows suit. Advisors visit settlers, like this man who is with his family. One of his son's clings to him. He shows the helper his field of corn. Ploughed fields ready for crops, stand waiting. Sprinklers come on. They water the soil, to keep the soil moist in the heat.

Rain falls into a river. It is next to a road. However, the river can get too high. Torrents fly down streams. Often flooding land. Streets flow with water and cars attempt to drive through them. It also invades land near buildings. This couple walk along what should be the pathway to their house. A man opens his side door. His neighbours house has flooded and they try to remove the water. From the top of a flight of stairs, we see furniture being taken down an alleyway. Two elderly women stand in their decaying houses. One looks out of dirty, cracked windows.

On a park bench, sits a man. He is an Orthodox Jew, as he is wearing the traditional tall, black hat and has a long white beard. A woman, about the man's age sits on a bench nearby. Close up of Hassidic (orthodox) Jew. In the shadows, a man with a walking stick, potters down a street.

In the synagogue, a man prays. He has a skull cap on and holds a prayer book in his hands. Candles are lit, some have already burnt down. A prayer book in Hebrew. A girl lights her candle, from the wick of one already burning. The Torah (holy books) are covered with a silver, Star of David over the top. An orthodox father, in his long coat and hat, is praying on the beach, as his three boys with their sidelocks, look on. Another Jew on the beach also prays. A couple share their prayer book. Two men look at the book and chat. There are a group on them praying on the beach. The sky is clear, except for a few clouds.

Aerial view of Masada, the place where Jews committed suicide, rather than let the Romans capture the settlement. In the rock face, are small caves. Archaeologists dig in the settlement. They shift through their finds. Pillars stand, partially intact. House walls remain standing.

Trucks drive through the desert. One has the Star of David on; these are the Israeli Defence Forces trucks. Close up of the soldiers. A tank's gun moves into position. It fires. Soldiers stand to attention, with guns in their hands. They practise manoeuvres. These involve their guns. Soldiers are also taught skills that will help them when their national service ends. These soldiers are learning about radios. Supervisors help them. A soldier places a bulb in a machine. They sit and learn lessons, making notes as they go. Today's lesson is about engines. A soldier takes notes. Another looks at the board. His colleague does the same. Some learn metal work. One soldier uses a file to smooth the metal. Others follow suit. All concentrate on their task.

Female soldiers are also taught skills. This soldier is walking with two bags. She teaches Hebrew to immigrants. Shaking the hand of one woman, she walks into a house where others are waiting. She smiles. Sitting down the soldier prepares for the lesson, getting books out of her bag. Her pupils smile at the camera. Out come books. Two other woman are also taught. The female soldier use word cards to teach the immigrants. A male pupil looks confused. They practise writing as well. The teacher aids them when necessary. She shows them how to form letters. However, life can change quickly for soldiers.

In the desert, stand a group of soldiers, with two tents behind them. Rows of soldiers stand ready to board trucks. They clamber into them. Moving off in convoy, the mission has begun. They march through a forest. Running, as shots are fired. A flame burns in a pot. A cemetery of fallen soldiers. Mourners, mother, father, husbands, wives, sit by their loved ones grave. They place stones on the grave, as a sign of remembrance. Two women weep by a graveside. A man can't hold in the tears. Further away stands a weeping mother. Children bring wreaths to the graveyard and lay them on a stone floor.

The boy, left alone in the classroom, sits reading a book outside his house. One of his younger brothers watches him. Some other siblings are on the porch, playing. The boy looks at his brother. Getting up, they walk back to the house.


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