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Blaumilch Canal

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Directed by  Ephraim Kishon
Country  Israel
Director  Ephraim Kishon
Story by  Ephraim Kishon
7.8/10 IMDb

Produced by  Roni Ya'ackov
Initial release  1969 (Israel)
Screenplay  Ephraim Kishon
Music director  Noam Sheriff
Blaumilch Canal httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumb0
Starring  Bomba Tzur Nissim Azikri Shaike Ophir Shraga Friedman
Release date  1969 (Israel) November 10, 1970 (U.S.) July 10, 1969 (West Germany)
Running time  95 minutes (87 minutes in the German version)
Cast  Bomba Tzur, Shaike Ophir, Shraga Friedman, Nissim Azikri, Zaharira Harifai
Similar  Sallah, The Policeman, Lovesick on Nana Street, Ervinka, An Electric Blanket Named M

Diggin ephraim kishon remixed

Blaumilch Canal (international release title: The Big Dig) is a 1969 Israeli comedy satire written and directed by Ephraim Kishon, depicting the madness of bureaucracy through a municipality’s reaction to the actions of a lunatic.


The film was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Ephraim kishon blaumilch canal 1961

Plot summary

Blaumilch is a lunatic with a digging compulsion who escapes from an insane asylum. Stealing a jackhammer, he proceeds to dig-up one of Tel Aviv's busiest traffic arteries, at the junctions of Allenby, Ben Yendua and Pinsker Streets, in front of iconic Mugrabi Cinema.

Rather than question his actions the police and city officials assume he is operating under the municipality’s orders, and aid him as much as they can. Complaints from local residents, whose lives become a living hell due to the noise and traffic jams, lead to infighting amongst city departments. To speed up the work, so that it would be completed before the upcoming municipal elections, the city sends armies of construction workers and heavy equipment to help the lone jackhammer-operator, turning a mere annoyance into a full-blown disaster.

Hauled before a police commissioner to explain why they attempted to sabotage municipal construction equipment, the residents give a vocal rendition of the noises they are subjected to daily until the commissioner himself yells for quiet.

By the time city officials realize they are destroying a street without any plans or goals in sight, it is too late: Allenby Street is connected with the Mediterranean Sea and a canal is created. The mayor then declares, in a flamboyant opening ceremony, that Tel Aviv has been turned into the Venice of the Middle East.

In an ironic twist Ziegler, a low-level municipal administrator, is the only one to realize that the 'project' was the work of a lunatic; he is laughed at and himself branded a lunatic. In the final scene Blaumilch is seen digging up Kings of Israel Square (today Rabin Square), which fronts the Tel Aviv Municipality building.


  • Bomba Tzur as Blaumilch
  • Nissim Azikri as Yehezkel Ziegler
  • Shraga Friedman as Dr. Avigdor Kooiybishevsky
  • Gideon Singer as Police Chief Akiva Levkowicz
  • Shaike Ophir as the police officer
  • Mosko Alkalai as Zelig Schultheiss
  • Reuven Bar-Yotam as Foreman
  • References

    Blaumilch Canal Wikipedia

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