Ben-Gurion: Epilogue

Have you ever wished you had the opportunity to go back in time and ask a famous historical figure some questions? You’re not alone. Hence the familiar meme, what would (fill-in-the-blank) do? Ben-Gurion, Epilogue doesn’t quite afford the viewer the opportunity of a direct conversation with the principal architect of the modern state of Israel, but it comes close. Based on six hours of never-before-aired interviews, Yariv Mozer’s (Snails in the Rain, SFJFF 2014) film catches David Ben-Gurion, a still vital 82, living in self-imposed retirement in a communal settlement in the Negev. His wife, Paula, has passed, and his political allies and protégés have deserted him. However, even in this state of relative isolation, Ben-Gurion appears content with life and humble when discussing his role in bringing to fruition the creation of a new Jewish homeland. The film includes news footage featuring sessions of the Knesset, protest marches, meetings with visiting dignitaries and family gatherings. In weaving together this archival footage, the film has an almost nostalgic feel as it pays homage to Israel’s first generation of political leaders. In doing so, it does beg the question, what would Ben-Gurion do? given the current political climate in the Middle East. Viewers can hazard a guess when Ben-Gurion discusses trading land for an enduring peace. —Mark Valentine

Co-sponsored by Deborah Blank and Frederick Hertz with generous support from the Peleh Fund 

preceded by The Transfer

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