Movie Review Essay Sample: Israel - Birth of a Nation (History Channel 1996)

Published: 2022-09-27
Movie Review Essay Sample: Israel - Birth of a Nation (History Channel 1996)
Type of paper:  Movie review
Categories:  Movie
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 998 words
9 min read

The documentary is an epic film of all times featuring grave and violent war crimes committed against the Jews and all efforts put in by the new-fangled nation in a bid to win the war. This a remarkable account of a society driven by courage and fortitude over weaponry, story of a people finally returned to their motherland. Documented by renowned author Late Sir Martin Gilbert, it talks in-depth on the nation's forbidding early years. A day after sovereignty declaration, armies of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and Transjordan invaded Israel. Defying all odds, with only a population of 600,000 people, Israel conquered the adversaries. The film is a riveting narrative that entails interviews with former Jewish freedom-fighters and survivors of the holocausts.

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Themes of the movie

Courage and Bravery. The courage of the Jews in these dark years of their existence is striking. With war waging against them and consequential evils of war, the could still come together and face the Arab attackers. For instance, by June the same year, the Syrian armies had made three attacks on the Jews who lost many lives this time. Even though this was a blow to the Jewish population which was at 49000 then, training intensified, and more procurement of ammunition from overseas.

Antisemitism and Betrayal. Antisemitism is a form of racism and prejudice against Jewish people. There are eminent hostility and discrimination the Jews faced as per the documentary. The neighboring states were against the Israelites, for example, their religious beliefs and ideologies. Driven by hate, Arab armies waged a cold war against the Israelites in a bid to aid Israel's extinction. Betrayal is eminent with how the Jews were attacked just a day after gaining independence.

Peace Agreements. Unity and Joint forces between the Druze and Jews. The Druze were a minority community living in Israel, drawing their religious beliefs originally from Islam though they were not considered Muslims. They agreed during the wartime to ally with the Israeli defense and later became citizens of Israel irrespective of their different religious practices.

Warfare. War is ruthless as it rips off the lives of both young and old as well as crippling a state's economy. Hatred towards the Jews and the historical materialism of their neighboring Arab countries fueled the injustice and political battles documented here.

Perseverance. The long struggle and determination to defend the new state of Israel runs through the entire documentary and depicts Israelites as people who despite their woes in exile, they kept the faith of returning to their ancient lands. With all the assassination and massacres witnessed during this period, Israelites did not despair instead went on growing and training their armies. Well-aided with the expertise and enthusiasm of their leaders and commanders, Israelites eventually repossessed their motherland. The commanders were gifted strategists who manage to mobilize and bring victory to a people who were outnumbered and at a disadvantage in the war.

Screenplay, Acting Direction, Production Values and Music

Screenplay in the documentary consisted mainly of voice match over motion or still pictures. The action and screen direction is limited to what viewers see and hear, for example, character movements and the settings. The acting and production values in this documentary are quite outstanding. There are different scenes captured all through the film and not just a few locations which would be irritating to the audience.

Music played in this film, sets the atmosphere, mood and pace of the happenings during the birth process of Israel. Music serves to create suspense for the audience and anticipation of the next scene. In between the narrations, music is played a lot even in the background and helps to keep the viewers attentive till the end. It is sad music too painting the mood of the whole story; a war tale that brought anguish to the Jews.

Literary Techniques

This documentary employed cinematic language including, pace, camera angle and music, dialogue and character development. For instance, the detailed narration of how the Israelites finally emerged victorious and also who their opponents were and what they did, builds the characters in the film. At the end of the film, one can classify if the characters of the Israelites as heroic, determined and robust people, unlike their counterparts who are racists and savage people.

Foreshadowing technique has aided in crafting the documentary into a fascinating story. It starts with a summary of what the Jews were subjected to, in November 1948 and their plan to reclaim their land, this captures the attention of the audience curious to find out more. Events then start to unfold in the film going back to May, the same year.

Documentary Reliability.

Being a devout Zionist, his writings were deemed biased since he was proudly Jewish. According to his critics, his works were too emotional, even though they acclaimed his scrutiny of events. The information gathered from the interviews featured, relied heavily on the memory of the participants who probably had developed an attitude towards their oppressors.

Strengths and weaknesses of the film.

The documentary is pretty much an informative chronicle of Israel's birth to many history enthusiasts. In the film, ideas flow in an orderly manner, and the plot is well built and developed. Events of what transpired after the Israel Independence Declaration, on the 14th of May, 1948, are narrated and visualized to the audience. On the other hand, the film elicits racist thoughts and hatred from its audience. As the film solely focusses on orchestrated success Birth of Israel, the defeated rival states deepen the contemporary resentment towards the Jews. Unfortunately, not all the audience agree with the documentary that it was fair to have Israel existing once again. For any neutral audience, one can develop prejudice now towards the enemy's states of Israel for the inhumane war acts committed back then regardless of them being past events.

Work Cited

"Israel - Birth Of A Nation (History Channel 1996)" You Tube, uploaded by Deroniak Godtv, 8 March 2013,

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Movie Review Essay Sample: Israel - Birth of a Nation (History Channel 1996). (2022, Sep 27). Retrieved from

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