Blue Box

The Jewish National Fund's ubiquitous Blue Boxes were an internationally successful fundraising campaign to support the purchase and forestation of land in Israel. This thought-provoking documentary focuses on Joseph Weits, a seminal figure in the growth of the organization, its tree-planting programs and the subsequent myth-building of a national narrative. Draining swamps and clearing stones was part of the reclamation and resettlement of land, driven by propaganda built upon certain assumptions. The trees have spread their roots over decades in these protected national forests, but evidence remains of the Palestinian communities displaced by the once-fragile seedlings. Through Weits's private journals and exhaustive archival research, his great-granddaughter Michal explores his misgivings about the impact of his actions and controversial legacy. Her willingness to openly question the values she was raised to believe leads to difficult conversations with her relatives. The result is a painful and enlightening exploration of a nation's past with a conviction to address uncomfortable truths.

NOTE: This film is geo-blocked to California

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Philippa Kowarsky