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Kedma (2002)

Cast: Andrei Kashker, Andrei Kashker, Helena Yaralova, more...
Director: Amos Gitai, Amos Gitai
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Kino
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Middle East, Israel
Running Time: 100 min.
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai directed this historical drama based on a true story of the conflict between Jewish refugees and Palestinians on the eve of the formation of the nation of Israel. On May 7, 1948, a freight ship, the Kedma, arrived on the coast of Palestine, carrying a load of Jewish refugees from Europe who had survived concentration camps in several nations. A few days later, the state of Israel would be created, but at the time, the passengers of the Kedma found themselves in the midst of a war, as they were greeted by British gunfire on one side, while on the other the Jewish underground army known as the Palmach stood by to defend them. The Palmach took many of the Kedma's refugees into hiding, while the rest were given weapons and asked to fight alongside the Palmach against the British and Palestinians. Over the next several days, the Palestinians and their British allies find themselves fighting with the Palmach soldiers and the Jewish refugees while interacting with one another as both sides realize how close and how far away they truly are. The cast includes Roman Hazanowski, Menachem Lang, Juliano Mer, Yussef Abu Warda, and Andrei Kashkar. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Extremely slow by MbDooley May 7, 2006 - 11:57 AM PDT
he is a talented filmmaker but this has very little dialogue just two rants at the end. It's a fascinating premise (zionism aside) but he makes it extremely dull.

Another brilliant film from Amos Gitai by bigbadraiderfan January 6, 2005 - 9:58 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
First off, this film is wonderfully photographed. But, more than that it's a wonderful. Amos Gitai has amazed me with his thought provoking films that force the viewer to take a deeper look at the struggles faced in the Middle East, whether it's the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in "Kadosh," the 1973 Arab-Israeli (Yom Kippur) War in "Kippur" or Arabs and Jews as the British prepare to leave Palestine in "Kedma." Gitai is careful to present the various sides to the struggle. He gives us some gritty battle scenes as the Arabs and Jews fight for control of the land. We see that all either side wants is a place to call home. Gitai carefully crafts the picture, letting the viewer think for himself/herself what they think of the situation. As he did in "Kadosh" Gitai also touches quite often on the Jewish faith in several locations throughout the film. SPOILER: Listen carefully to the ending dialogue and than think about Israel today. Is the character right, wrong, or perhaps a little bit of both? You be the judge. END SPOILER. Nice job by Gitai.

Good ideas without the talent to back them up by talltale August 30, 2004 - 11:50 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
After hearing about the work of writer/director Amos Gitai, I've finally managed to catch up with two of his films. Two may just be my limit, if KADOSH (2000) and KEDMA (2002) are at all typical. Slow and repetitive, both make their points in obvious fashion. With "Kedma," Gitai uses so many mid-range shots that one long for some close-ups in order to become more involved with the many characters that dot the landscape in this story of Holocaust survivors who arrive in Israel immediately before the official formation of that state. Gitai's sense of dialog and performance is so lacking that his characters sound, act and appear pretty much the same, whether they are the arrivals to Israel or those who already live there and are supposed to "teach" the newcomers. This is distracting and unbelievable--as are the many small "monologues" the pour from characters' mouths so that we can learn a bit of their history. The film does offer thoughtful moments regarding Jews, Palestinians and the land in question, and it ends with a long rant against Judaism, goys, history and life in general. While the words here are interesting and worth considering, the character from whose mouth this pours is pretty much a cipher (as is everybody else). Visually, I can't think of another director whose work is less interesting to watch. Five minutes into the movie (and every five minutes hence), you may find yourself thinking of what to cook for dinner or that laundry that needs to be done--the film is THAT uninvolving. "Kadosh" offers more close-ups and character involvement, but too little story and subtlety. Perhaps religion is "all" to the ultra-Orthodox male Jews of Israel, while their women have scant ability to act or think for themselves. I suspect otherwise, but even if this is true, a better writer and director would give us a richer array of situation, dialog and visuals--and then meshed all these into a workable whole. Because these two are among Gitai's later films, I can't image trying to sit through the earlier ones.

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(Average 5.20)
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2002
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
A List of Good Movies

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