The Diaries of Yossef Nachmani 2005
Distributed by First Run/Icarus Films, 32 Court St., 21st Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201; 800-876-1710
Produced by Marek Rosenbaum, Itai Tamir, Dalia Karpel
Directed by Dalia Karpel
DVD, color, 88 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern Studies
Date Entered: 12/20/2007Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA
This work concerns the labors of one Yossef Nachmani in and around the town of Tiberius from the mid 1930s through the Israeli War of Independence. Using Nachmani’s own diaries, interviews with Jewish and Arab eyewitnesses to the events described, and talking head historians, Karpel presents a work which has the intent of being a counter-argument to the “foundation myth” of modern Israel. Nachmani was a land broker working for the Jewish National Trust whose job was to purchase land from Arabs in the Galilee region for immigrating Jewish settlers. With the coming of the U.N. partition the Arabs of Tiberius were violently expelled, to Nachmani’s horror, and there were atrocities on both sides. After watching this production some may wonder if the director is looking for the “truth” behind the founding of Israel or if she wonders if Israel should exist at all. The film is presented with a Hebrew narrative and most of those interviewed speak either Hebrew or Arabic. All of this is given easily readable subtitles. The picture quality as well as the sound is good to excellent.