notes to eternity

Directed by Sarah Cordery

Renowned critics of Israeli policies – Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Sara Roy and Robert Fisk – provide personal substance and historical perspective to their arguments in this impressive film by New Zealander Sarah Cordery.


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  • ★★★★ review by Kyan Krumdieck on Letterboxd

    this is not a Ken Burns documentary chronicling the blow by blow 2000 year history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is not a two sided trial of perspectives in the court of opinion.

    What this film is, is a presentation and exploration of a single perspective, that of a collection of Jews disillusioned with the state of Israel. This film takes its time, exploring tangents and stories of people in a circuitous way with out ever getting lost. Noam Chomsky and Sara Roy come out as the most convincing figures.

    Rather than debating which group of people called dibs first on the tiny square of land, the film explores the wider perspective of what it means to be from somewhere, and the ethics of nationalism.

    This is among the best New Zealand films I've seen, it's quality is on par with any international film that might be made on the subject. The style is lyrical, with frequent expressionistic animations, which at times communicates more in seconds than academics could in hours of debate.

    Most important for me, it explored the distinctions between Semitism and Zionism. How after world war II, the holocaust was tied to and used as justification for colonial zionism in which 100s of thousands of Palestinians were expelled on mass from their homes at threat of death. And now to question the actions of a very conservative, authoritarian and borderline theocratic nation is equated with Anti-Semitism.

    After watching this film I still need to further educate myself on the historical context. This film fits into an existing debate. I think it does require some existing understanding of the history, and an understanding of the Zionist argument that permeates society today. This film spends the 2 1/2 hours it has, presenting a different perspective that I have not yet heard so well articulated.

    It is sure to be very polarising, but I do think it is very important to be seen even by those that are likely to disagree with it.

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