FOLK 154 401 Film and Literature
War & Love in Israel
Lecture: Tuesday, Thursday: 1:30-3:00
Contact: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies: 215.898.7466
Cross-listed: AMES 154, COML 282, JWST 154
Topic varies semester to semester. Past topics have included:
Film and Literature: Childhood in Times of Peace and War; War
and Love: Heroism and Anti-Heroism in Israeli Writings. Fall 2002:
Film & Literature: War & Love in Israel. While the American
tradition sanctifies the "pursuit of happiness, "Israeli
consciousness does not. The "tug of war" between the
individual's right to seek happiness on the one hand, and the
commitment to collective, national causes on the other, is an
overarching theme in the 54 year-old existence of Israeli literature
and culture. This struggle between passion and obligation evolves
in different forms through cinematic and literary works, crosses
lines of gender and genre, age and ethnic background. The constant
shadow of war made "terrible flowers of love blossom"
(Amichai), but led to a culture and art of perpetual repression
of desire. So deeply ingrained is the superiority of national
concerns that a leading Israeli critic accused the renouwned author
A.B. Yehoshua of "desertion" when he wrote a mere love
story. This course will introduce students to works of fiction,
poetry, and film created by Israeli men and women from 1948 onward.
We will study how authors and directors use color, light, close-ups
and flashbacks. For some, the collective "I" is in the
center, while for others it is a metaphor for society. Some explore
the landscapes of the self, yet others turn to the supernatural
or escape altogether from the here and now. Readings include A.B.
Yehoshua, A. Oz, D. Grossman, O. Kastel-Bloom. Films includes
works by M. Bat Adam, U. Barbash, D. Karpel, and Mizrahi.
to previous page