Kedma | Chicago Reader

Kedma

Kedma (Hebrew for “toward the Orient”) is the name of a rusty old cargo ship delivering a group of Holocaust survivors to the shores of Palestine in 1948, on the eve of the establishment of the state of Israel. Probing into the founding myths of his country, writer-director Amos Gitai (Kadosh, Kippur) takes the wary immigrants through a series of often violent encounters—with British troops, with displaced Arabs, and with one another. The characters are archetypes of the diaspora (Russian peasant, Polish worker, and so on), the polyglot dialogue is bleak, and the rudimentary plot culminates with two angry diatribes: a Palestinian farmer swears eternal resistance to Israel, and a Polish immigrant curses the history and fate of his fellow Jews. In Arabic, German, Hebrew, Polish, Russian, and Yiddish with subtitles. 100 min.

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