Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Long Way Home (1997)

Academy Awards, USA 1998

Best Documentary, Features
Marvin Hier
Richard Trank

Seventh Art Releasing
Directed by Mark Jonathan Harris
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia

Starting at the end of WWII and the Holocaust, the plight of those survivors in the first few years after the war is chronicled. It turns out the defeat of Hitler was not the end of the misery, as the released prisoners had no home, no families to return to, but instead became refugees shuffled from one country to another. Many, ironically, headed toward Germany and the relative safety of the American Zone, but  their ultimate destination was British controlled Palestine. However, the British wanted nothing to do with them and put up obstacles at every opportunity. The refugees tried to enter the country as illegal immigrants, by the thousands on ships at night. Eventually the problem became so desperate that the British pulled out and left it to the United Nations to untangle. This led to the controversial formation of the state of Israel, with President Harry S. Truman playing a pivotal role. Essential viewing to understand the historical background of Israel, with more than a few parallels to contemporary immigration issues.

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