Fellow Traveler: The Cinematic-Political Consciousness of Judd Ne'eman.

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The peculiar trajectory followed by Ne'eman in his post-1977 political films reveals the characteristics of the political consciousness of a large group of Israeli artists, academics, and left-oriented activists. Their passive political resentment at the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip that followed the 1967 War took a radical shift following the political overturn in the 1977 elections, which brought to power the right-wing Likud party, leading the group to politicize Israeli culture and to denounce the Israeli occupation and the repression of the Palestinian people. However, this altruistic stand was based upon a dead-end, pessimistic, and ultimately ethnocentric viewpoint. We find in the films of Ne'eman and other Israeli filmmakers after 1977 a contradiction between an explicit moral critique of Israeli politics and the aesthetic grounding of this critique within a cinematic reality of persecution and hopelessness. Ne'eman, however, in his last film, Streets of Yesterday, brings to light the conflict submerged in his prior films and in all the films produced by the group. Having revealed the futility of the group's political consciousness Ne'eman abandoned his cinematic political activism in favor of research and teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-106
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2005


  • NE'EMAN, Judd
  • POLITICAL films
  • MOTION pictures
  • MOTION picture industry

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