Pourquoi Israël (Israel, Why) (1973) is Shoah filmmaker Claude Lanzmann's first film. The documentary examines life in Israel twenty-five years after the birth of the state. Lanzmann spends time with, among others, German-Jewish émigrés, intellectuals, dock workers, police, prison inmates, and the newly arrived surveying life in the new homeland. The title of the film is often incorrectly given as a question "Why Israel?" however, Lanzmann intended it as an answer or an explanation from a collection of viewpoints.
The film premiered just three days after the Yom Kippur War in Israel. International media attention was caused by an incident in Hamburg, Germany, where leftist groups violently prevented a showing of the movie in October 2009, claiming the movie took a one-sided Zionist perspective.
- Benjamin Weinthal: 'Why Israel' film canceled after violent German leftist protest, Jerusalem Post, 22 Nov 2009
- Pourquoi Israël at the Internet Movie Database
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