Movie, Reviews

Soldiers and Peacemakers, The Wars of Israel

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Sitting back and watching the documentary The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers brought back the memory of the history taught in my school years depicting the establishment of the State of Israel. But the information I received back then does not compare with what you will see in this film. Told by the late Yehuda Avner who witnessed the beginning of a nation through all the turmoil and frustration, you’ll see how the country evolved into what it is today. Now in Theaters.

Narrated by Avner and taken from his book “The Prime Ministers” the film mixes actual archival video footage and photos as he chronicles Israel from 1947 through 2013. It’s everything you wanted to know about the rise and fall of all the Prime Ministers from the early rebellious years of Menachem Begin to the peacemaking days of Yitzhak Rabin. Each of the leaders of Israel are featured showing the most noted events of their terms of office.

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Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin

Avner tells the history based on his personal involvement with the leaders of Israel including David Ben-Gurion, Gold Meir, Yatzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, Yatzhak Shamir, and Ariel Sharon. He was also there when some of them met with Anwar Sadat during peace negotiations that involved United States Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton. Having firsthand knowledge coupled with video footage of the events that encompassed the war years and the peacemaking years make this documentary one of the most intriguing I’ve seen in some time. Historically it’s a gem.

BONN, WEST GERMANY - JULY 17, 1975: US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speak at a press conference, 17 July 1975 in Bonn, West Germany. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images)
BONN, WEST GERMANY – JULY 17, 1975: US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speak at a press conference, 17 July 1975 in Bonn, West Germany. (Photo by AFP/Getty Images)

Some of the most startling footage includes the Yon Kippor War, assassinations of Anwar Sadat, the hijacking of flight 139 that landed in Entebbe Airport Uganda, attacks by the Palestine Liberation Organization on Jerusalem under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, assignation of Bachir Gemayel President of Lebanon, assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, meetings at Camp David, and much more.

The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers has not been rated by the MPAA but does contain scenes of violence and death from actual video footage of wars and assassinations.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very good documentary for those who are historical minded. (B)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Yehuda Avner, Michael Douglas stars as the voice of Yitzhak Rabin and Christoph Waltz as Menachem Begin
Directed by: Richard Trank
Genre: Documentary, History
MPAA Rating: Not Rated, scenes of violence in video footage
Running Time: 1 hr. 51 min.
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Distributed by: Moriah Films

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com