Ashdod (film #10 in the Cities section of the State of Israel section of Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

This early-60s Israeli film documents the building of Ashdod, a city that was built in the desert to house refugees. Mostly, it’s about the refugees themselves, and what it’s like to come to a newly-built city and try to build a new life for yourself there. It ends up giving you a real sense of what it’s like to be a refugee, with both the hardships and the hopes. There is something touching about the style in which the film is made that stimulates empathy in the viewer. Most of the films on the Spielberg archive have a lot of historical interest; this one is one of the more interesting to actually watch.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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