Break of Day (film #2 in the Rural Settlement and Security section of the State of Israel section of Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

This 50s film, like others in the Spielberg Archive, tells the story of a family of rural Israeli settlers in the many pioneer settlements of the period. But whereas most such films are hopeful, this one has a sad, tragic feel to it, though the ending hints at some hope. The father of this family tires of the endless hard work and privations of the settlement, so he moves his family away to a slum village. But life is still very hard, and he must face the disappointment of his young son, who considered the settlement his home. The events leading up to the family’s eventual return to the settlement highlight the difficulties these pioneers faced, whatever choices they made. I suppose it was made to discourage these people from giving up on pioneering, but how effective it was at that is hard to say. It is a well-made and touching film, though, with lots of historical value.

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

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