Synopsis by Rebecca Flint Marx
Made in 1913, this Russian documentary was assumed lost until 1997, when it was found stored away in France's National Film Archives. Completely restored, it presents the viewer with a portrait of Jewish life in what was then known as Ottoman Palestine. Originally produced by Odessa's HaMizrah Society and directed by loyal Zionist Noah Sokolovsky, the documentary journeys from Odessa to Tel Aviv via the Black Sea, and then through Jerusalem and other cities, villages, and rural settlements. The Life of the Jews in Palestine originally premiered in 1913 at the 11th Zionist Congress in Vienna and then went on to be enjoy popularity throughout Europe and Russia; it was screened for more contemporary audiences at the 2000 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.