The last decade has seen a swathe of engrossing documentaries emerge from Israel, placing the country’s film industry on the international map. Not only do these 9 documentaries make for great viewing, they also offer an insightful glimpse into the complexities of Israeli history and society.
The Law in These Parts (2011)
Directed by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, this award-winning documentary explores the reality of Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, a territory it gained control over following 1967’s Six Day War. Probing beneath the surface of this occupation, Alexandrowicz interviews judges, lawyers and military generals who were directly involved in its handling. In doing so, he provides us with a stark and brutally honest depiction of this occupation and the dilemmas it poses.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Waltz With Bashir (2009)
A masterful and moving animated documentary-film written and directed by Ari Folman, Waltz With Bashir revolves around the massacre of Palestinians in a refugee camp during the 1982 war between Israel and Lebanon. Committed by a Christian militia, Folman attempts to reconstruct the events that led to this tragedy and assesses Israel’s blame for enabling it.
Dancing in Jaffa (2014)
Fundamentally, Hilla Medalia’s documentary is about peace and coexistence. It follows ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine’s Dancing Classrooms program in Jaffa, Israel, an area with a mixed Arab and Jewish Israeli population. Focusing on three children of different faiths and backgrounds, this documentary shows the deep-rooted issues and barriers that exist in Israel and the power of the arts in bringing people together, presenting a blueprint for hope and a positive future.
The Gatekeepers (2013)
Dror Moreh’s Oscar nominated documentary is based on interviews with six former leaders of Israel’s highly secretive counter terrorism intelligence agency, Shin Bet. With an unprecedented degree of openness – this was the first time they agreed to be interviewed – Moreh provides us with a gripping and thought-provoking account of Israel’s security situation since the 1967 war, from Palestinian suicide bombings to the assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by an Israeli Jewish extremist.
In Defamation, Israeli filmmaker Yoav Shamir, with a touch of irreverence, tackles a sensitive and much discussed question ubiquitous in the Jewish world: what is anti-Semitism today? He meets with a diverse range of Jewish people, including leading figures in the American community, Israeli students visiting Auschwitz, his grandmother, and controversial historian Norman Finkelstein. The result is a provocative and insightful account of how Jews today define and relate to anti-Semitism.
The Green Prince (2014)
Mosab Hassan Yousef’s father was one of Hamas’s founders. This remarkable documentary shows how he became an informant for a decade for Israel’s internal security agency, Shin Bet. Comprising of interviews between Yousef and his Israeli handler, Gonen Ben Yitzhak, Nadav Schirman’s portrayal of this real-life spy story makes for gripping viewing.
In Auschwitz, inmates were dehumanised; their names became numbers, permanently tattooed on their arms. In Numbered, directors Dana Doron and Uriel Sinai provide an intimate, highly poignant account of how Auschwitz survivors relate to their numbers now, and how they have impacted their lives and the lives of those around them.
The Flat (2011)
Director Arnon Goldfinger is the grandson of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. When clearing out his grandmother’s Tel Aviv flat after her death, he stumbles upon a scarcely believable discovery: she had been friends with a high-ranking Nazi official. Shocked and determined to find answers, Goldfinger travels to Germany to meet the Nazi’s daughter and historians, as he embarks on a personal journey to uncover his family’s past and suppressed secrets.
Paper Dolls (2011)
Tomer Heymann’s documentary film tells the story of a group of Filipino transvestites he befriended, who, rejected by their families, moved to Israel to work illegally. Their job? Caring for elderly, Orthodox Jewish men, and once a week, performing drag in a group called ‘Paper Dolls’ in Tel Aviv.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.