A proud yet scarred leader haunted by the Holocaust and decades of war, former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin struggles to balance history and heroism to make peace with his greatest enemy and cement a legacy long misunderstood.
Imprisoned by the Soviets. Orphaned by the Holocaust. Elected Prime Minister. Crowned peacemaker by the Nobel Prize Committee. Disgraced by the Lebanon War. Menachem Begin was a pillar of the State of Israel and a tireless fighter for the Jewish people. He was, at the same time, a controversial leader. His life is a nuanced and complicated canvas that tells the story of key events in the history of modern Israel and its relationship to its Middle East neighbors. With evocative imagery, rarely seen archival materials, and revealing interviews with those who knew him, UPHEAVAL portrays the life and essence of this brilliant, tough, complex, loving, and proud man who never compromised when the survival of Israel and the Jewish people were at stake.
Jonathan Gruber | Documentary | 87 minutes | English, Hebrew | $12
A pre-recorded virtual panel conversation follows the documentary with UPHEAVAL director Jonathan Gruber; Lahav Harkov, Senior Contributing Editor, The Jerusalem Post; Senator Joe Lieberman (Retired), and Dr. Arye Naor, Political Science Professor and Israel’s Cabinet Secretary, 1977-1982.
Moderated by Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief, The Forward.
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“Upheaval is a bold and compelling portrait of Menachem Begin. Begin isn’t definitive of everything that Israel represents or has represented, but this film will provide an extraordinary introduction to someone whose greatest accomplishments include both peace with an Arab neighbor and the expansion of settlement construction that continues to be a flashpoint issue today.” – Abe Friedtanzer, Awards Radar
“Upheaval captures Menachem Begin’s essence. Director Jonathan Gruber effectively mixes new interviews, with notables such as former Israeli ambassadors to the United States Michael Oren and Ron Dermer, and news footage with archival accounts of Begin’s (and Israel’s ) history with no wasted motion.” – Andy Gottlieb, The Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle