Thursday, May 10, 2012

Film Review: Inventing Our Life - The Kibbutz Experiment

Michele Wilson-Morris

In Toby Perl Freilich's "Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, Israel's hopes and fears for the very survival of its Kibbutz movement are highlighted in a deeply compelling and thought-provoking film. Freilich's documentary gives a good history lesson of the Kibbutz movement and brings us forward to present day with clarity and detail, outlining the challenges Israel faces with conviction and timeliness.

One hundred years ago, small groups of eastern European Jews who were known as the Kibbutz began to migrate to Palestine to make a new way of life, eventually becoming what we know to be the state of Israel today. But by the 1970's, society began to change and the Kibbutz movement, being no exception, began to unravel, raising the question "How could what seemed like an almost Utopian society falter? Everything from raising children to tending the land was done as a collective for the success of the group, and for a long time it worked. But just like the young people who were the pioneers of the Kibbutz wanted change, so do  the youth of the Kibbutz today. Can Israel survive these changes? Is the idea of the collective being replaced by Capitalism and the American dream? The film explores these questions in detail, incorporated the viewpoints of everyone from seniors to children. "Inventing Our Life - The Kibbutz Experiment" is a very informative and thought provoking piece that should be required viewing for everyone as this is a true account of the ideals that can shape the beginning of a new path for any people and the challenges that may await them along the way. Although this is a Jewish story, it is significant, timely, and relevant for us all. Freilich did a fine job with this film, which will move anyone viewing it. It is powerful and seductive, and should find a place in history of its own.

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