On the Map

Before 1980’s “Miracle on Ice,” an Israeli team’s equally unlikely victory over a Soviet basketball team was dubbed the “Miracle on Hardwood.” After winning, magnetic Israeli team captain Tal Brody, a high NBA draft pick, exclaimed in American-accented Hebrew, “We are on the map, not only in sports, but in everything!” That phrase and the Maccabi Tel Aviv team, a combination of NBA also-rans and Israeli players, rallied a nation in its David-and-Goliath pursuit of the 1977 European Championship. Director Dani Menkin (39 Pounds of Love, SFJFF 2005) remembers that this much-needed morale boost occured amid a sagging economy, only a few years after the tragic 1972 massacre in Munich and Israel’s draining Yom Kippur War. He brings together most of the members of that year’s team, some of whom are still living in Israel, including Brody and African American Aulcie Perry, who converted to Judaism while on the team. Brody’s friend, NBA great Bill Walton, and former NBA Commissioner David Stern deliver incisive commentary on the team and its significance. Israeli figures from outside the sports world, including former ambassador Michael Oren, politician Yair Lapid and former refusenik Natan Sharansky, all recall what TV commentator Alex Giladi calls “the end of Israeli sport losing with honor.” —Sara L. Rubin
w/English Subtitle
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