Housing one of the world’s greatest collections of art and antiquities, the Israel Museum poses for its own complex portrait in this elegant observational documentary, revealing its central role in the complicated narrative of the nation.

Sitting high on the brow of a Jerusalem hill directly opposite the Knesset, the sprawling institution—now more than half a century old—contains nearly half a million objects, from the Dead Sea Scrolls to Crusader armor to masterpieces by Rembrandt and Marc Chagall. A less ambitious film would provide a hit parade of the museum’s contents. Instead, The Museum is wisely constructed as a set of loose encounters with its human inhabitants.

We eavesdrop on the curators, museum guards, archaeological conservators, visiting schoolchildren, and even the resident rabbi, who together form a kaleidoscopic picture of the way art, history and national destiny intersect in the galleries. Director Ran Tal (Children of the Sun), while showcasing the deep artistic and educational values that underlie the museum’s work, also gently exposes its ideological fault lines: we watch an Army docent use the museum’s archaeology to indoctrinate her trainees, while Arab and Jewish curators wrestle with the moral implications of displaying Palestinian artifacts. Through it all, the Israel Museum emerges as a shining example of a nation’s highest aspirations for itself.


The Museum

Israel 2017, 72 min, Feature Documentary - New Release

Written & Directed by: Ran Tal
Produced by: Lama Films - Ayelet Kait, Amir Harel, Ran Tal
Editing: Nili Feller
Photography: Daniel Kedem, Itay Marom, Uriel Sinai, Ziv Berkovitch, Zvi Lanzman
Music: Asher Goldschmidt
With the support of: Yes Docu, The new fund for cinema and TV, Mifal Hpis, The Leir Charitable Foundations
Language: Hebrew, English, Yiddish, Arabic with English subtitles

Synopsis


Housing one of the world’s greatest collections of art and antiquities, the Israel Museum poses for its own complex portrait in this elegant observational documentary, revealing its central role in the complicated narrative of the nation.

Sitting high on the brow of a Jerusalem hill directly opposite the Knesset, the sprawling institution—now more than half a century old—contains nearly half a million objects, from the Dead Sea Scrolls to Crusader armor to masterpieces by Rembrandt and Marc Chagall. A less ambitious film would provide a hit parade of the museum’s contents. Instead, The Museum is wisely constructed as a set of loose encounters...

Awards

  • 11th David A. Stein Memorial Award for the Best Documentary, Toronto Jewish Film Festival, 2018
  • Nomination to Ophir Award in the Best Documentary Feature Category, Israeli Academy of Film and Television, 2018
  • The Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum Nomination for the Best Feature Documentary Award, 2018

Festivals

  • Jerusalem Film Festival, 2017 - World Premiere
  • Museum of Fine Arts Boston, US, 2018
  • Washington Jewish Film Festival, US, 2018
  • Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Canada, 2018

Additional info

Gallery

Press & Links:

Festivals

  • Jerusalem Film Festival, 2017 - World Premiere
  • Museum of Fine Arts Boston, US, 2018
  • Washington Jewish Film Festival, US, 2018
  • Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Canada, 2018
  • Musée d'art et d'histoire du Judaïsme Paris, France
  • FILAF 2018 – Festival international du livre d'art et du film de Perpignan – Compétition, France, 2018
  • Berlin Jewish Film Festival, Germany, 2018
  • San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, US, 2018
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston, US, 2018
  • Chicago Jewish Film Festival, US, 2018
  • Jewish International Film Festival, Australia, 2018
  • Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival, China, 2018
  • Kolnoa - Festival of Israeli documentaries, Slovakia, 2018
  • UK Jewish Film Festival, UK, 2018
  • Pitigliani Kolnoa – Jewish Film Festival in Rome, Italy, 2018
  • Filmsreal Middle East Film Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2019
  • Bucharest Jewish Film Festival, Romania, 2018

Educational

  • SOAS, University of London - European Association of Israel Studies' 7th Annual Conference, UK, 2018

Awards

  • 11th David A. Stein Memorial Award for the Best Documentary, Toronto Jewish Film Festival, 2018
  • Nomination to Ophir Award in the Best Documentary Feature Category, Israeli Academy of Film and Television, 2018
  • The Israeli Documentary Filmmakers Forum Nomination for the Best Feature Documentary Award, 2018
  • [ 6 Nominations and 5 Awards in the following categories : Cinematography – Daniel Kedem, Editing – Nili Feller, Music – Asher Goldschmidt, Sound – Aviv Aldema, Visual Design – Yoav Raz, Lahav Halevi ]