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Any advice on "Israel: A Nation is Born" with Abba Eban?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dennis Nicholls, May 26, 2003.

  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    There's another Abba Eban special coming out on 24 June: Israel: A Nation Is Born. This will be a somewhat expensive 3 DVD set so I'm curious if it was previously broadcast on the usual suspects: PBS, A&E, et al. I'm looking for a documentary centered around the 1948 war of independence. Is that what this documentary is about? And did the producers do a good job? Some details copied from dvdpricesearch follow below:

    "Synopsis:
    This six-part chronicle of the birth and development of the Jewish state is hosted and narrated by former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Abba Eban, who also hosted Heritage: Civilization and the Jews. Eban, who played a pivotal role in realizing the dream of a Jewish state, points out that "the series is designed to provide an essential context to an inspiring human story."

    Among those featured in interviews and rare archival footage are U.S. Presidents Harry Truman and Richard Nixon, and key leaders Winston Churchill, Anwar Sadat, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, and Yitzhak Rabin. Together with Eban's firsthand testimony, this series achieves a diverse perspective of both the Arab and Israeli experience. According to Eban, Israel: A Nation Is Born is a "depiction of the turbulent and dramatic history of Israel, through the conflicts and tensions of five decades, climaxing in the brighter prospects of Arab/Israeli peace."



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Genre: Documentary Sound Format: UNK
    Studio: Home Vision Screen Format: 4:3
    Rating: NR Theatre Release: 1992
    MSRP: $59.95 DVD Release: 2003-06-24
    Discs: 3 "
     
  2. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    DeepDiscountDVD.com has it listed as delivered for $43. Still a bit pricey but reasonable. It won't likely be discounted more than that at any B&M in the near future. Looks like an interesting series.

    BTW, I missed it on PBS but am sure it had a run either there and/or on the History Channel.

    Joel
     
  3. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    Not wanting to set the cat among the pigeons, but any "documentary" narrated by Abba Eban and called Israel: A Nation is Born seems somewhat unlikely to hold much in the way of objective evidence, especially as it's US made.
     
  4. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    This is the first and also immediately the last warning for this thread: no political comments.
    I know it's difficult given the topic, but please.
     
  5. Ali B

    Ali B Second Unit

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    As you say, it is difficult given the topic. The lack of political comments makes answering the question "And did the producers do a good job?" somewhat difficult...
     
  6. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    As a historian and documentary leader Abba Eban has done an outstanding job in the past with historical material (he has been called one of the 'smartest people' alive). On that basis I am willing to take a 'sight unseen' risk with this material. He is likely to handle the material in as delicate a fashion as is possible while maintaining the necessary entertainment value required ...

    Joel
     
  7. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

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    War of Independance?! from whom?
     
  8. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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  9. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Supporting Actor

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    Just finished yesterday the whole 6-part documentary. I can wholeheartedly recommend this set for anyone interested in the subject matter and willing to deal with the pace/style of a documentary. The piece was particularly interesting to me (a native) while still enlightening on a number of areas that are not universally known. Though, perhaps, not the objective treatise on the subject it does attempt to provide both sides of the story with a number of less than flattering descriptions of certain Israeli and Palestinian leaders. It does, however, not pretend to be a documentary on the evolving new Palestinian State but (as the title suggests) a personal view of the establishment of a Jewish State in the aftermath of the European Holocaust. Many will be surprised at the active role of Presidents Truman through Clinton (and now Bush) in the creation, protection and otherwise sponsorship of Israel. What was particularly enlightening was the active role of the former Soviet Union until it flipped sides prior to 1967.

    Quality-wise this is a pretty solid piece of work for the video/audio of the DVD. The color material from the 60's is a bit uneven with fleshtones vaccilating but holding quite well for the later material. Sound was more than adaquately handled with Eban as the moderator, always clearly heard from the center channel. All-in-all there probably is no documetary that spans the 30's-90's for this subject that is of higher quality for the DVD medium.

    Though I've read that this would probably be rentable from libraries, I would still recommend the purchase (~$40 from deepdiscount) for anyone collecting documentaries (there wa a good thread on this subject a few weeks back). [​IMG] I somehow doubt many libraries will be carrying this in the near future. I may be wrong [​IMG] .

    Joel
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    You may wish to read debi's review for an idea what to expect. It was the dOc spotlight the week of its release, if that is any indicator.
     

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