Israeli movies and Israeli film in general have a long history of greatness including winning awards at the American Academy Awards. In fact, Israeli movies have been nominated for more awards for Best Foreign Language Film than any all other Middle Eastern countries.Israeli CDs have also been popular worldwide.
Israeli film has been around since the Nation’s independence in 1948, but the roots of Israeli movies originate back to the early 1900s when silent movies were popular in the Jewish neighborhoods of what was then Palestine. Future inspiration for Israeli movies could be found in places such as Café Lorenz in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood in 1905.
The earliest Israeli movies made in former Palestine were news reals shown in movie theaters before the start of movies. Perhaps the first Jewish film made in Israel was ‘This is the Land’ in 1935 by Baruch Agadati.
As the popularity of Israeli movies grew, over 2 ½ million Israelis visited movie theaters across the country more than 50 million times in 1966. With the arrival of broadcast television in 1968, Israeli film in Israeli cinema became less and less popular while Israeli found it more comfortable to stay home and get their dose of Israeli movies.
One genre of Israeli film unique to Israel is the Bourekas Film, named as a play on words from the famous American Spaghetti Western genre. Famous in the 1960s and 1970s, Bourekas Israeli movies focused on comedy in Israeli cultural divides particularly between the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews.
Though Bourekas films have not maintained their popularity in Israeli movies, they are still recognized by Israelis as a cultural icon and source of nostalgia.
Another major genre in Israeli movies, and one that it much more prevalent today are military Israeli movies that often tell meaningful, moving stories about conflict, and the difficult life of soldiers in combat. These Israeli movies are mostly recognized for their ability to color a conflict and help their audiences see that life in Israel is not as black and white as some may believe. Such Israeli movies are often screenplays developed from Israeli books
Several of these Israeli movies have won or been nominated at the Oscars including the well-known and well-received Israeli film ‘Waltz With Bashir’. Other popular Israeli movies include genres such as Holocaust films and a new form of satirical comedy where Israeli film makers satirize well-known Israeli landmarks and cultural stigmas that all Israelis recognize. One such example is the 2010 Israeli film ‘Zohi Sdom’.