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Kedma

(100 mins) An Official Selection at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, Kedma is renowned Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai's powerful drama about a group of European Jewish refugees who arrive at Palestine in the critical year of 1948. Carried on the deck of the freighter Kedma, they come ashore to find not the Promised Land of milk and honey but a war-torn desert in the bloody throes of transformation into the state of Israel. Rescued from a British army ambush at beachside by Palmach Jewish guerillas, the Kedma's ragged refugees are remade into soldiers expected to offer their lives to defend a nation that does not yet exist in a land they've never known. Kedma is both a journey to survival and a chronicle of rebirth. As Rosa and fellow Europeans engage Arab resistance and elude British pursuit, they transform from exiles to insurgents and from Jews to Israelis. Directed by Gitai in a near documentary realist style, Kedma is an intimate epic of "overwhelming passion" that "tells you all you need to know about why this war still rages on with no end in sight" (Time Out, New York).

In Hebrew with English subtitles.