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New Media, Journalism, Documentary
On the Side of the Road
Former West Bank settler Lia Tarachansky looks at Israelis’ collective amnesia of the fateful events of 1948 when the state of Israel was born and most of the Palestinians became refugees. She follows the transformation of Israeli veterans trying uncover their denial of the war that changed the region forever. Tarachansky then turns the camera on herself and travels back to her settlement where that historical erasure gave birth to a new generation, blind and isolated from its surroundings. Attempting to shed a light on the country’s biggest taboo, she is met with outrage and violence.
ETHNOCRACY IN THE PROMISED LAND: ISRAEL'S AFRICAN REFUGEES
Directors | Lia Tarachansky and Jesse Freeston Country | Israel / Palestine Year | 2015, Languages | Spanish, English, Arabic, Hebrew Subtitles | English, Duration | 53 min Production | Naretiv Productions for TeleSUR “The crisis of Africa is a crisis of all of humanity” says Sergio Yahni in this film. Many have seen the difficulty, often fatal, that many Africans have had seeking to leave the continent by boat. For those unable or unwilling to take that risk, the only piece of land that connects Africa to Asia and Europe is the territory today known as Israel-Palestine. While few planned to stay in Israel, thousands found themselves in a massive, open-air prison in the Negev Desert. Originally broadcast in Spanish across Latin America on teleSUR, we now offer it free in English.
Tierra prometida, gente excluída
Una pelicula de Naretiv Productions para teleSUR (Enero 2015, 54 mins) Co-director, co-camarógrafo y co-editor Lia Tarachansky con Jesse Freeston “La crisis de África es la crisis de la humanidad entera” dice Sergio Yahni. Hoy en día, el único pedazo de tierra firme que conecta el continente de África al resto del mundo es el territorio en disputa conocido como Israel-Palestina. Una cerca levantada en 2014 cerró, por primera vez en la historia de nuestra especie, esta ruta terrestre. Y ahora ¿qué pasa a los refugiados africanos que aún se encuentran en el territorio disputado bajo control israelí?
Children of Noah - Wedding Scene
Children of Noah follows the young anthropologist and Jewish scholar, Rachel Feldman, as she discovers a new religious movement spreading through the internet. We first meet her in Jerusalem, where she is researching Israel’s growing fundamentalist-religious right wing. The people she follows envision the revival of a biblical-style Judaism and mobilize to transform Israel into a theocracy. Over three years, Rachel interviews them, prays with them, lives in their Jewish-only settlements, and ascends with them to the Temple Mount, which they dream of annexing from the Palestinians. Through this journey, Rachel realizes the movement she is tracking has moved beyond the borders of Israel, and through the internet, gained traction in Christian communities around the world. Rachel discovers that thousands of formerly Evangelical Christians are abandoning Jesus and assuming a ‘Noahide’ religious identity, named after Noah who survived The Flood of the Book of Genesis. She also discovers that under the guidance of extremist right-wing rabbis, Noahides study Torah and adopt new Jewish-like rituals. Fascinated and fearful of this discovery, Rachel sets off to The Philippines – home of the largest Noahide community in the world. A devout Catholic nation and Asia’s only Christian-majority state, The Philippines is now home to 15 Noahide synagogues. As she visits these communities, Rachel meets Emmanuel, a prominent Noahide leader whose father was a famous Evangelical preacher. After his father’s death, Emmanuel converted all of his father’s “brethren” into Noahides and quickly became a middleman between them and their now-revered Rabbis in Jerusalem. With Emmanuel, Rachel travels to Pinamungajan, a community of Noahides living in a remote village in the mountains. There, she witnesses their first wedding, performed in their brand-new synagogue. While they dress like Orthodox Jews and pray in Hebrew, the Noahides are actually performing unprecedented rituals designed in recent years and transmitted to them by Emmanuel. In one lecture, in the near-total darkness of the jungle, she watches him explain an idea he claims as Jewish. Speaking to the community members, who listen attentively though exhausted from the day’s labour, Emmanuel says that there exists a spiritual hierarchy of souls and that their now-saved Noahide souls are essentially still only as high as an animal’s. “What is the difference between us and them?” he asks, “we are nothing compared to the Jewish people. We are dust”. Horrified by this supremacist idea, Rachel returns to Israel to uncover how Emmanuel has come to preach it. As an observant Jew, Rachel is disturbed by this perversion of her faith. We witness her baking the Shabbat bread and reflecting on potential roots to such an ideology within Jewish liturgy. She tracks down the leading rabbis proselytizing to, and writing rituals for, Noahides. She watches them lead online lectures with communities from India to France, Cameroon, and Mexico. She comes to understand one man lies in the center of both the far-right political coalition endorsing a biblical religious state, and in the center of the religious coalition converting Christians into Noahides. Born in Algeria to a prominent Zionist family and raised in France, Rabbi Uri Cherki immigrated to Israel in his youth and joined the Israeli army. He attended prominent religious schools and studied under esteemed religious leaders, quickly rising to prominence and establishing his own institution – the World Noahide Center. Rachel watches him there preach to French Noahides over Skype. “It’s not about converting 8 billion people,” he says to the webcam. “First, let’s convert 1 billion and we’ll worry about the rest later.” Spending time with Cherki, Rachel discovers the movement has garnered support from the highest levels of government. She follows him as he visits the Minister of Foreign Affairs and witnesses her offer global support for the Rabbi’s proselytizing mission. Rachel then discovers what role the rabbis see for the Noahides. As one puts it, when all the world’s non-Jews convert, millennia-old Jewish prophecies will be fulfilled. It will begin with the revelation of a Messiah, then a global holy war from which Israel will emerge victorious and rule the world. “We want to bring about one world government, one world religion, which is under the auspices of God who will rule the world through the Messiah,” he says. As the rabbis pave the way for this scenario, other far-right leaders crave the political potential of gaining a global network of spiritual allies, supporting Israel’s conversion into a theocracy. Rachel uncovers that a third of the parliament already supports this idea and that half the Jewish population believes non-Jews should be expelled.