Directed and produced by Otto Preminger, The Exodus is a movie that was released in 1960. The epic wart film was based on novel written by Leon Uris that goes by the same title as the movie. This movie deals with the founding of Israel in 1948. In this movie, it is established that Israel and Palestine were found as a result of refugees escaping from the British refugee camps where they were subjected to hardship and cruelty. Led by a former operative of the British navy, Ari Ben Canaan (played by Paul Newman in the movie) the 611 Jewish prisoners were among those people who had survived the Holocaust. On reaching the harbor of Famagusta, the British administration realizes that there are some of the inmates who had escaped. They therefore barricade the ship and prevent it from anchoring on the harbor. This leads to a large protest among the escapees who decide to go on a hunger strike following directives by Ben Canaan. The hunger strike causes the refugees their doctor as he dies. The ship commandant, on seeing that the British are not moved threatens to blow up the ship which would kill all the remaining refugees. This therefore shakes the British authorities allowing the escapees entry into the land.
In the process of the formation of the Israel nation, there exists an underground extremist Zionist network called the Irgun which plans on a military way to form Israel. Contrary to this, Ari’s father Barak tries to form Israel through reasonable negotiable and diplomatic means. The Irgun however is not satisfied with this.
When the King David Hotel is bombed by a member of the Irgun called Dov, the head of the movement called Akiva is arrested and detained. Dov, still under an arrest warrant by the British police escapes but then decides to turn himself in where he plots to free the prisoners in the jail to form Israel. He manages to bomb the prison allowing the escape of many prisoners. This is the point where hopes of forming an independent Israel start.
In the process of liberating themselves, the Israelis receive a lot of resistance from the Arabs. They plan to send forces to the village of Gan Dafna where the leader of the Israeli liberation, Ari is harbored by a friend. The Arab extremists then attack the village killing the inhabitant. In the process they kill Ari’s friend and another girl named Karen who was Dov’s girlfriend. This marks the beginning of the war between the Jewish Israelis and the Arabs to form Israel and Palestine.
Israel’s Relation with its Neighbors
In the movie, it is very clear that there is a strained relationship between the Israelis and the Arab neighbors that surrounded them. The Arabs are uncomfortable with the consolidation of Israel as a nation and they try all they can to stop them. To express the hate they have for the Israelis, they even draw the Star of David on some of the bodies of the people killed in the village of Gan Dafna. This is depicted as a mockery of the ancestral king of Israel.
The Palestinians also have an estranged relationship with the Israelis as it is characterized with conflicts. As much as the Palestinians want to separate themselves from the Jewish Israelis to form their own nation, they are prevented by the Jewish. Even though these conflicts are present, the leader of the Israeli revolution at that time, Ari, vows to unite the Arabs and the Israelis one day. This shows that even though the Arabs and Palestinians are intolerant towards the Israelis, the Israelis do not mind their presence in the region.
In the movie, the British are portrayed as very cruel and brutal. They mistreat the Holocaust survivors in the camps which fuels them to escape and revolt. The Arabs are also portrayed as being violent since they do not tolerate the presence of the Israel nation in the region despite the fact that the Israelis are non-violent towards them. The Jewish Israelis are portrayed as the good people who try to fight for their rights, guard lives of children and form a nation based on unity. The Palestinians are viewed as the weak ones since they are unable to separate from the Jewish Israelis.
From the above observation, the film is biased to portray the Israelis as non-violent people who are jus protecting life and fighting for their rights. This is because; the Israelis in the present world do not respect the wishes of the Palestinians to allow them freedom.
The movie gives the image that the history of the Israelis and the Palestinians has been full of violence and intolerance. The Palestinians are trying to free themselves from the influence of the Jews (supported by the Arabs) while the Israelis suppress their efforts by retaliatory attacks.
The formation of the Jewish state of Israel brings a lot of turmoil in the region as it is resisted by both the Arabs and the Palestinians.
The Screenplay and Characters
The movie portrays Ari as a brave fighter who is determined to see his people liberated. He is also portrayed as a person who cares about the vulnerable as he tries to ensure the safety of the children when he is informed that the Arabs have intentions of attacking Gan Dafna. He is further portrayed as a peace minded person as he vows over the dead bodies of the killed that he will ensure that one day the Israelis and Arabs will live in peace, not only in death, but also in life.
The film provides some of memorable pictures that drive the emotions of the viewer. First is the part where Karen confesses her love for Dov and Dov assuring that they will marry one day. The other scene is where Dov finds his girlfriend dead. Another memorable scene is where Ari finds his friend who had harbored him, dead and a Star of David drawn on him. The other part is during the traditional burial of the people killed where Ari vows to ensure that the Israelis and Arabs cohabit.
Views and Opinions about the Film
According to the film, it is easy to conclude that violence brings nothing but losses and death. It is noted that in their use of force to liberate themselves from the Jews, the rebels get injured. The Violence also costs people’s lives.
Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land
Propaganda is the act of influencing someone to think and act i9na way that you desire by giving them false information. This documentary 2004 documentary by Sut Jhally and Bathsheba Rastzkoff explains that the media has been used to a very large extent to propagate this vice. Israelis in this documentary are portrayed as being oppressive to the Palestinians in that they are not willing to give them freedom. The news from this region is largely influenced by the foreign policies of the US and Israel. Since the US is aiming at establishing a military base in this region, it influences the media houses to strain information in such a way that Israel is always a victim of the circumstances. The used of pro-Israel media houses such as CAMERA and Honest reporting distorts the information from this region. The Arab states are also at loggerheads with Israel for occupying Gaza and West bank, land that is supposed to be occupied by the Palestinians. The establishment of the Jewish Israeli state in the region is therefore not taken lightly since the Arabs argue that they are illegally occupying the land. The scene that touched me most is the explanation made concerning news reporting on Israeli-Palestinians clashes. In the American media, they are keen to use the word ‘attack’ when referring to Palestinian military action. On the other hand, they use the word ‘retaliate’ when it is Israel’s case. This communicates biased information to the viewer since not always is Palestine on the wrong and Israel on the right in this conflict. This made me believe that contrary to what I used to think, Israel is the cause of the circumstances and not the victim. The Palestinians are the victims instead. The good guys in this film are the Palestinians and the Arabs. The former because they are fighting for their right to possess what is rightfully theirs. Israel’s selfish motives do not allow them to have Gaza and West Bank which they initially occupied. On the other hand, the Arabs are good since they offer military support to the Palestinians to ensure that justice is served. Then Israelis and the Americans are the bad guys because their selfish motives drive them to hides the truth about the conflict in the region and therefore using their influence to mislead the world. This film has a realistic and an honest point of view since the foreign relation between Israel and the US prevent s the world to learn the truth about the situation. Since both governments are influential in world politics, the lead us to believe what they desire.
Reel Bad Arabs
This film is an extension of the book written by Jack Shaheen about how Hollywood influences misconceptions about the Arabs. The most important misconception that the author explains is portrayed in many American movies is the rifle in the Arabs hand showing that they are terrorists. This is entirely not true. In films such as The Dictator, it is depicted that Arabs are terrorists as well as dictators. Aladeen, the leader of Wadiya defies these odds. In the film, it is so clear that the accusations made against Aladeen’s governance is because he is against their interests in his country. The Americans and other European nations are just out to exploit Wadiya and get oil and gas for free. This climax of the film is when he disagrees to sign an agreement after a plot hatched to kill him fails when Aladeen attend a US diplomatic meeting New York City. According to the film, it is the Americans who are terrorists since they have the guts to organize an assassination of another country’s leader. Another stereotype in both the Aladeen and the documentary is portraying the Arab culture as despising women. Towards the end of the film Aladeen reveals himself to Zoey and confesses his love for her in the UN meeting.
Cultural competence refers to a sequence of events in a system or organizations that enable people to work well cross-culturally. It involves behavior, attitude and policies. In this book by Linda Holtzman, she explains that media can be used to influence the way people think about certain cultures and people. However, she notes that the society will actually be better if the media could be used to influence this in a positive way. This will facilitate respect and appreciation people have to various cultures. I view myself as one person who appreciates all the cultures that I know of and therefore I belong to the cultural competent continuum. I have interacted with Indians, Whites, Africans as well as Arabs with no difficulty. One way of increasing my cultural competence is by travelling and interacting more to have diverse knowledge on culture. I have interacted with the economically endowed class, and I have realized that they too are human just like us who are less privileged. This has enabled me to remove the stereotypes I had against them and view them as normal people. The Blacks and the Indians are very pleasing tom interact with. Even though the society, especially whites tend to view them as minorities, I have found this to be wrong. They intellectually smart. Asking them questions about their cultures has also helped me appreciate their way of behavior. The blacks are generally not violent as depicted in many films. With so doing, it has helped me to deal with many stereotypes I had about these two races and therefore my cultural competence.