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Israel: A Right to Live

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Directed by  John Schlesinger
Written by  Wolf Mankowitz
Running time  53 minutes
Director  John Schlesinger
Producer  Harry Saltzman
Produced by  Harry Saltzman
Release date  1967
Initial release  1967
Screenplay  Wolf Mankowitz
Cinematography  Anthony B. Richmond
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Israel: A Right to Live is a 1967 documentary shot in Israel about the Six-Day War. John Schlesinger directed and Harry Saltzman produced. Anthony B. Richmond photographed the 16 mm film. Wolf Mankowitz wrote the narration; David Samuelson was a camera assistant.



Filmmaker and author Alan Rosenthal claims that the film was very "pro-Zionist" and would show "the new Israel, the new spirit." Saltzman, Mankowitz and Schlesinger were all Jewish. Saltzman was also chairman of the "Show Business Aid for Israel committee".

Schlesinger flew to Israel—he'd never been there before—and shot considerable footage. For Schlesinger, this was "a sense of reclaiming his heritage" and he found the experience "quite moving."

Current status

Cinematographer Richmond claimed in 2011 that he's never been able to find a copy of the documentary. Alan Rosenthal claims that "hours of film had been shot and edited, but nobody liked the result. Israel was too triumphant, too out of keeping with the changed mood. It had a few showings and then passed into oblivion." On the other hand, William J. Mann claims that Schlesinger never finished the documentary, "due to 'creative differences' with the BBC."

The British National Archives contains several items pertaining to the film. These include "colour and black & white photographs"; a 7 December 1967 letter from the Israeli Embassy in London "congratulating Schlesinger" on his work in the documentary; a 5 October 1967 list of potential titles for the documentary; and a transcript of interviews filmed for the documentary.


Israel: A Right to Live Wikipedia

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