Synopsis: Deep in the archives of the Hebrew University, 35 mm reels were discovered of 6 hours of never before seen interview with David Ben-Gurion, one of Zionism movement’s biggest icons and one of modern history greatest leaders. It is 1968, he is 82 years old, 5 years before Israel’s founder and first prime minister past away and he lives in his secluded home in the desert a symbol of his devotion to the settlement of the south of Israel. In the history of Israel, It is usually in their latter part of life, that leaders let themselves and dare to examine their own views. With or without the official responsibility, it is easier for them to think differently.
Forty years later, based only on archive material, newsreels of the time, rare and reconstructed films gathered from various archives, radio recordings, and still photographs, the film revisits Ben-Gurion’s outlook and prophecy. The final ten years in the life of the leader, a time when he had found himself outside Israeli politics, removed from all leadership discourse, allowed him a hindsight perspective on the Zionist enterprise. Ben-Gurion was now able to express his opinion over all that was going on around him and to engage in truly introspective soul searching, which is to be the focus of the film.
Given the coming days that call for crucial decisions as for the future of Israel, the film turns back in time, in order to listen to his clear voice and leadership and to seek answers for today and for the future.
Since the death of Ben-Gurion (1973), not one documentary tackling his vision and world-view has ever been produced. Israeli Film Director, David Perlov (1933-2003), was the first and only filmmaker ever to have made a film about Ben-Gurion’s life. The fiction film “42:6” was made in 1970. While working on the reconstruction with Jerusalem’s Hebrew University’s Spielberg Archive, I was surprised to unearth six hours of rushes containing a film interview in English with Ben-Gurion. The interview was conducted as part of the pre-production work on Perlov’s film. This is a rare interview of David Ben-Gurion where he delves deep into dozens of issues related to the Zionist enterprise.
Through the unique archive material I have uncovered, I wanted to revisit the man upon whose vision and perception the State of Israel was established and to represent his ideas. In the midst of this present day period when several major decisions impacting the future of Israel seem imminent, especially concerning the most fundamental of political subjects and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Ben-Gurion’s vision offers a clear cut, accurate and surprising point of view on these core issues. One cannot help but feel that if we were still under the leadership of a man as brave as him, then reality would surely look altogether different.
Yariv Mozer graduated with distinction from Tel-Aviv University’s Film and Television Department in 2004. Since then he directed documentary and feature films, among them are “Ben-Gurion, Epilogue” (Israel-France-Germany 2016), “Snails in the Rain” (Israel-Spain 2013), “The Invisible Men” (Israel-The Netherlands 2012), and “My First War” (Israel 2008). Mozer produced more than 15 films among them are “The Heart of Jenin” (Germany 2008) and “Inheritance” (Israel-France-Turkey 2012). Mozer, former head of Entrepreneurial Producing Program at The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School (2007-2010), and former director of The 10th Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival (June 2004). Mozer is graduate of EAVE Producer’s workshop, a member of the European Film Academy and the Israeli Academy of Motion Pictures.