This landmark documentary celebrates the pioneering labors of early Jewish settlers in Palestine. With striking visual compositions and a remarkable soundtrack by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the film records the technological and agricultural accomplishments of the pioneers and extols the idea of a socialist Jewish state.

Footage includes shots taken at the Jaffa port, in Tel Aviv, and on various kibbutzim of the time; Strasbourg-born director Lerski’s expressive style creates an almost mythic image of the Jew in Palestine, toiling and triumphing amidst the sweeping desert landscape.


"The opening sequence shows a young man wandering through barren and dry land in Palestine. This is followed by a longer sequence in which the everyday life of Jews and Arabs in the British mandated territory of Palestine is shown. Central to the film is the development of the water-supply in Palestine. Traditional methods of obtaining water for farming are shown. A camel powers a water wheel. Water tanks from far afield are transported by horse and cart. After a few sequences introducing the construction of streets and houses in Tel Aviv, the last sequences deal exclusively with the development of new water sources, made possible by modern technological methods. The film ends with a symphonic montage of sequences with flowing, roaring water after a drill mashine strikes a new source. The extreme close-up shots are typical of Lerskis' style. They show the workers' faces, the sweat on peoples bodies and on the machines, dirt and oil, all emphasized by the artificially reflected sunlight."

- Cinematography of the Holocaust Documentation, Fritz Bauer Institute


Home Use DVD:

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information

Classroom/Library Use DVD: $195

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

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Palestine, 1935, 50 min, b&w
Music Only with English subtitles
Director: Helmar Lerski

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Public Exhibition 35mm Rental available





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