The Desert Shall Rejoice (film #17 in the Rural Settlement and Security section of Stephen Spielberg Jewish Film Archive). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

This 50s film documents the extensive land reclamation projects that the new state of Israel undertook in order to build agricultural self-sufficiency. This is straightforward and extensively told, with a note of hope and optimism despite the constant threat of violence in the border settlements. This has historical value in documenting Israel’s development. There are no real surprises here, but the film is well made and moves along at a good pace, so it doesn’t get too dry either.

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

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