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Children of the Sun (Yaldey Hashemesh) 2007
Documentary Award Winner at the Jerusalem Film Festival
An intimate portrait of the children who were part of Israel's first kibbutzim.
PAL(Euro) System ONLY
Click for trailerOne of the reasons we watch documentaries is for their unique ability to let us glimpse diverse, unfamiliar ways of living we might otherwise never encounter. Ran Tal’s fascinating documentary, Children of the Sun, shows us the storied world of the Israeli kibbutz movement from a largely unexplored perspective – that of the first generation of children who were born on the kibbutzim and lived there for most of their lives.+The Zionist project in the early twentieth century was characterized by unbounded idealism and a strong vision of Israel as a utopian, socialist refuge. The earliest inhabitants of the collective communities had high hopes for a better way of life, and their children were the first to be raised according to these new ideas. They were destined to become the New Man, the new face of the Jewish people.+Oblivious to the high stakes placed on their existence, the children simply grew up, gradually absorbing the concepts their parents impressed upon them. The black-and-white footage of them tumbling and playing seems to offer typical images of childhood – except these kids slept together in a separate cottage just for them. Their parents spent time with them once a day but left primary care to nannies, indeed, parents were forbidden from having too much contact with their kids, or even seeing them after dark. Without their parents’ presence, the children became their own family. Denied material possessions, they threw themselves into the unceasing physical labour, strict ideology and ceremonial rites of passage expected of them.+Meticulously researched and composed of more than eighty amateur films taken between 1930 and 1970 when the movement flourished, Children of the Sun is revelatory. Director Tal was born on a kibbutz himself, and he gives the film a distinctly personal, subjective angle. Rather than present clips tied together with detached narration, he allows former members of the kibbutz – several of whom appear throughout the footage – to comment on and discuss the scenes. Tal wisely focuses on the often conflicted inner feelings and reflections of the people who grew up in the communes, showing us this singular epoch in an authentic and powerful way.+Ran Tal was born in Kibbutz Beit Hashita, Israel. He studied film and television at Tel Aviv University, and has directed several short and feature-length documentaries and fiction films. Among his films are the shorts Merchant of Feelings (94), 67 Ben Tsvi Road (98) and Prosthesis (99), and the feature-length My Dream House (05) and Children of the Sun (07).+Producer: Amir Harel, Ayelet Kayit, Ran Tal
Written By: Ran Tal, Ron Goldman
Editor: Ron Goldman
Sound: Alex Claude
Music: Avi Belleli
- Language: Hebrew, English Subtitles
- Original Release date: 2007
- Media: PAL (EUR) DVD
- Runtime: 70 min