Israel: A Right to Live

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Israel: A Right to Live
Directed byJohn Schlesinger
Produced byHarry Saltzman
Written byWolf Mankowitz
CinematographyAnthony B. Richmond
Release date
Running time
53 minutes

Israel: A Right to Live is a 1967 documentary shot in Israel about the Six-Day War. John Schlesinger directed and Harry Saltzman produced. Anthony B. Richmond photographed the 16 mm film. Wolf Mankowitz wrote the narration;[1] David Samuelson was a camera assistant.[2] The film is believed to be lost.


Filmmaker and author Alan Rosenthal claims that the film was very "pro-Zionist" and would show "the new Israel, the new spirit."[3] Saltzman, Mankowitz and Schlesinger were all Jewish. Saltzman was also chairman of the "Show Business Aid for Israel" committee.[4]

Schlesinger flew to Israel—he'd never been there before—and shot considerable footage. For Schlesinger, this was "a sense of reclaiming his heritage" and he found the experience "quite moving."[5]

Current status[edit]

Cinematographer Richmond claimed in 2011 that he's never been able to find a copy of the documentary.[6] Alan Rosenthal claims that "hours of film had been shot and edited, but nobody liked the result. Israel was too triumphant, too out of keeping with the changed mood. It had a few showings and then passed into oblivion."[3] On the other hand, William J. Mann claims that Schlesinger never finished the documentary "due to 'creative differences' with the BBC."[5]

The British National Archives contains several items pertaining to the film. These include "colour and black & white photographs"; a 7 December 1967 letter from the Israeli Embassy in London "congratulating Schlesinger" on his work in the documentary; a 5 October 1967 list of potential titles for the documentary; and a transcript of interviews filmed for the documentary.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Graham, Sheilah ((15?) July 1967). "Hollywood(?) (incomplete title)" (PDF). Watertown Daily Times. p. (14?). Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "Anthony B. Richmond, BSC/ASC". Internet Encyclopedia of Cinematographers.
  3. ^ a b Rosenthal, Alan (2000). Jerusalem, Take One!: Memoirs of a Jewish Filmmaker. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 110. ISBN 9780809323111.
  4. ^ anonymous (10 November 1972). "Showbiz Men at Lunch". Jewish Observer and Middle East Review. 20: 23.
  5. ^ a b Mann, William J. (2006). Edge of Midnight: The Life of John Schlesinger. Random House. p. 281. ISBN 9780823084692.
  6. ^ "Tony Richmond – Racing Time". MovieScope magazine. March–April 2011.
  7. ^ Bevan, Carolyne (August 2003). "John Schlesinger" (PDF). The National Archives (UK).

External links[edit]