Eran KaplanOct 11, 2022
Projecting the Nation
History and Ideology on the Israeli Screen
Rutgers University Press 2020
Eran Kaplan's book Projecting the Nation: History and Ideology on the Israeli Screen (Rutgers UP, 2020) is a wide-ranging history of over seven decades of Israeli cinema. The only book in English to offer this type of historical scope was Ella Shohat's Israeli Cinema: East West and the Politics of Representation from 1989. Since 1989, however, Israeli cinema and Israeli society have undergone some crucial transformations and, moreover, Shohat's book offered a single framework through which to judge Israeli cinema: a critique of orientalism. Projecting the Nation contends that Israeli cinema offers much richer historical and ideological perspectives that expose the complexity of the Israeli project. By analyzing Israeli films which address such issues as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi divide, the kibbutz and urban life, the rise of religion in Israeli public life and more, the book explores the way cinema has represented and also shaped our understanding of the history of modern Israel as it evolved from a collectivist society to a society where individualism and adherence to local identities is the dominant ideology.