Jerusalem, Take One!: Memoirs of a Jewish Filmmaker

Overview

Jerusalem, Take One! Memoirs of a Jewish Filmmaker is a behind-the-scenes look at the life of documentary filmmaker Alan Rosenthal, the maker of over sixty films including Day of Peace, Out of the Ashes, A Nation Is Born, and On the Brink of Peace. As a witness to so much recent Israeli history through a camera’s viewfinder, Rosenthal himself makes as much of an interesting subject as the events he documents.

Born in London in 1936, Rosenthal studied law at Oxford before ...

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Overview

Jerusalem, Take One! Memoirs of a Jewish Filmmaker is a behind-the-scenes look at the life of documentary filmmaker Alan Rosenthal, the maker of over sixty films including Day of Peace, Out of the Ashes, A Nation Is Born, and On the Brink of Peace. As a witness to so much recent Israeli history through a camera’s viewfinder, Rosenthal himself makes as much of an interesting subject as the events he documents.

Born in London in 1936, Rosenthal studied law at Oxford before beginning his work in television directing in Israel and the United States. By the 1960s he was an established young filmmaker who had participated in the filming of the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem in 1961. He returned in 1968, initially for just one year, as part of a team invited by the Israeli government to set up the first television network; that year turned into the thirty-plus years that inspired this book. 

The Eichmann trial, the development of Israel Television, the Oslo agreement, the search for the menorah from the Second Temple, the history of Zionism on the television screen, and the Yom Kippur War and Project Renewal are but a few of the recent moments in Israeli history that Rosenthal and his camera have witnessed.  As he recalls these events with humor and wit, Rosenthal’s words recapture the emotions and feel of those times as vividly as his lens recorded their passing.

This is a memoir, not a history textbook, and Rosenthal himself is the true subject of the book’s most intensely personal and introspective moments, stories of growth and learning, of England and family, of love and loss, of ideological disappointment and renewed hope. Rosenthal’s tale is one of progress toward the man he wishes to be, the films he feels he must make, and the cultural identity he seeks to develop for himself and all Jewish people.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Jerusalem, Take One! is for those interested in documentary film and in the politics and recent history of the Middle East and a more general audience interested in reading a compelling memoir.”—Henry Breitrose, Stanford University

Jerusalem, Take One! is so lively, so well-observed and well-written that I am sure it will find readers well beyond the academic community where Alan Rosenthal’s facility and scholarship have already won him great respect. . . . While he does go into some detail about the ‘business’ of making documentary films, he avoids professional minutiae, rather using this involvement to create the world in which he learns the realities of Israel’s media politics as it (and he) confront the gatekeepers in the U.S. and Western Europe who determine what the rest of us see on TV and read in the press.”—George C. Stoney, Goddard Professor of Cinema, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

 “Readers interested in a human, rather than a political, perspective will find that as Rosenthal chronicles the important films he’s made about important moments in Israel’s history (Day of Peace: Out of the Ashes).”—Publisher’s Weekly

Library Journal
Born in London and educated at Oxford University, Rosenthal (Why Docudrama?: Fact-Fiction on Film and TV) was attending Stanford's MBA program when he discovered film studies, which became his passion. He first traveled to Israel as personal assistant to the television producer who filmed the 1961 trial of recently captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. He then returned as a volunteer during the Six Days War in 1967, was invited to set up the country's first television station in 1968, and eventually moved to Israel. His work includes films about Zionist history, the Yom Kipper War, Project Renewal, and episodes in the acclaimed PBS series Heritage: Civilization and the Jews. This entertaining and moving memoir describes Rosenthal's life experiences, which include coming to terms with the Jewish religion and the State of Israel. While clearly not intended as a textbook history, this book does let the reader assimilate the vivid 52-year history of Israel through the author's experiences. Recommended for public and academic libraries.DBruce Henson, Georgia Tech. Lib., Atlanta Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
The British author shares his memories of working as a documentary filmmaker in Israel during the last 40 years. His stories span the Eichmann trial, the development of Israel Television, the Yom Kippur Wars, the Intifada, and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809323111
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Lexile: 1070L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Rosenthal was born in England, studied law at Oxford, and has made over sixty films for television. His books include The Documentary Conscience; Writing Docudrama; Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos; and Why Docudrama? Fact-Fiction on Film and TV. He received a Peabody Award for journalism and the International Documentary Association’s award for scholarship. Currently, he divides his time among projects in Jerusalem, London, and New York.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 New Boy at Israel TV 1
2 Only Madmen Go There 26
3 Next Year in Jerusalem 46
4 Eichmann on TV 65
5 Six Days in June 88
6 Selling Zion 115
7 The Wars: Yom Kippur and After 137
8 Of Heroes and Treasures 169
9 The Brink of Peace 201
10 Civilization and the Jews 235
11 Moses, Come Home! 260
Selected Filmography 277
Index 279
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