Movie Review -The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers



The Prime Ministers #2 - Soldiers and Peacemakers - photo Moriah Films

The documentary by Richard Trank, The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers is the second film about Israel's prime ministers based on the book by Ambassador Yehuda Avner, The Prime Ministers.  The first critically acclaimed film was The Prime Ministers:  The Pioneers.


The epic film (111 minutes) goes from the civil war beginnings of the state where David Ben Gurion and Menachem Begin fought on opposite sides as Haganah (what became the IDF -Israel Defense Force) and the Irgun - the rebel group to eventually join forces for the good of the state.  


The Prime Ministers #2 - Anwar Sadat with Menachem Begin - photo from Moriah films

The story examines the 1974 election of Yitzhak Rabin as the first Israeli born prime minister who, with trepidation and difficulties surmounting, and pressure from U.S. President Jimmy Carter, negotiated the first bilateral treaty between Israel and Egypt and the eventual friendship with Anwar Sadat.  


The Prime Ministers #2 - Yitzhak Rabin and Henry Kissinger - photo Moriah Films

Challenged in 1976,  learn of Israel's rescue of the Entebee hostages; the continued tension between President Carter and Rabin, the financial scandal that brought him down, and the surprise election of Begin in 1977 as prime minister.  It was Begin who attended the Camp David Accords, despite knowing that Carter favored the Egyptian side,  attended Sadat's funeral - walking in the heat because it took place on the Sabbath , and who dealt with the tension from President Ronald Regan during the Lebanon war of 1982 when Israel was forced to, once again, defend itself.  

The Prime Ministers #2- Begin with Rabin - photo by Moriah Films


The documentary continues to the decline of Begin after death of his beloved wife and the assassination of Rabin. 


The Prime Ministers #2 - Menachem Begin and President Jimmy Carter - photo by Moriah Films

With Michael Douglas giving voice to Yitzhak Rabi,  Christopher Waltz to Menachem Begin, and introducing Nicola Peltz as the voice of the young British woman, Esther Cailoingold, this film, with excellent photography, historical footage, never before seen photos, emotional interactions, and interspersed with interviews is, I found, to be more exciting than the first.  I definitely learned things that I had not known before.


The Prime Ministers #2 - Yitzhak Rabin - photo from Moriah Films

Produced by Rabbi Marvin Heir and distributed by the award winning  Moriah Films (the filmmaking division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center), the film will open in NYC - AMC Village East (3rd Ave at 11th St) -on Friday, October 9, 2015, and in Los Angeles - The Royal Laemmle band in Encino Town Center - on Wednesday, October 14, 2015.


Two of Moriah's films have been recipients of Academy Awards for Best Feature Documentary. 


Anyone interested in history and the Middle East will enjoy this movie.


For more information contact Moriah Films.  

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