A Film by Anat Zeltzer and Modi Bar-On
(Israel, 2011,4 episodes, Color, Hebrew, English subtitles)
Just over a century ago, on the shores of the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee), the first kibbutz was established by a group of young Zionists who wanted to create the "New Jew" and New Judaism. They had two major missions to accomplish: firstly to settle and develop the land under difficult physical conditions and hostile surroundings; and secondly, to establish a human laboratory which would challenge the traditional structures of society as a whole and of the family in particular. The kibbutz would become the role model for the moral codes, values and culture for the rest of the Jewish settlement movement.
Both the Jewish and the non-Jewish world were intrigued by the kibbutz. In the early days sociologists and educational researchers wanted to learn about what was happening on the kibbutz and later, in the 1960's and 70's, young European and American volunteers came to "work and play".
Over the years some 270 kibbutzim were founded forming the physical and cultural foundation of Israel and presenting an avant-garde execution of a social-agricultural ideology which proved to be highly viable.
The 1980's and the fall of the Berlin Wall ushered in years of deep crises for the Kibbutz Movement. However, in comparison with similar forms of communal living in the US and in Russia, which only managed to exist for a generation or two, the kibbutz has maintained a sustainable form of communal life well into the third and fourth generations. The kibbutz still seeks, in its "human" laboratory", an alternative to the brutal capitalist world.
The mini-series "The Kibbutz" documents the dramatic story of this lengthy human test case, a story which treasures the constant and systematic tension between the individual and the nation, between the family and the group, between the utopian conceptual ideas and the rough daily life.
Following their award winning series on different aspects of Israeli history, Anat Zeltzer and Modi Bar-On have chosen to document the heart and soul of an Israeli Myth.
Channel 1, Israeli televsion
"'The Kibbutz' settles between the significant ideals and the minute moments" Moran Sharir, Haaretz
"Modi Bar - On and Anat Zeltzer's series the Kibbutz completes the trendy return of the Kibbutz in a graceful and in depth manner..." Dan Magen, Walla
"Between a script that in tails the small details on one hand and the significant questions that rise from the ideological discourse of the Kibbutz on the other 'the Kibbutz' of Modi Bar - On and Anat Zeltzer is en bowed with charisma that is unmatched. Maybe because it puts people in the center" Ariana Melamed, ynet
"Without imposing his commentary on the product and without displaying subversion Modi Bar - On is able to shed a different light on the Kibbutz movement" Alon Hadar, NRG