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Palestine: A Realistic Film
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24'26''
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2013
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In 1932 the Missionary Film Committee produced the film “Palestine”. This forgotten society worked throughout the British colonies up until the late 1930s, creating religious-educational propaganda. This film, its negatives left buried in the archive until its discovery by Tali Keren, is an early cinematographic attempt to create a kind of biblical historical epic of the Holy Land. Its creator and producer, T.H. Baxter, saw Palestine at the turn of the 20th century as a “biblical reserve”, a place where time stood still. This view provided urgent motivation to film and document the region before progress could “exterminate its present past”. The film also presents the missionary institutions active in the “reserve”. Keren creates a series of contemporary references to the footage that still remains. She returns to the institutions it documents, joins the English Mission Hospital delegation to St. John Eye hospital Jerusalem, currently operated by Palestinian physicians, and revives the journey taken by Baxter and his associates while juxtaposing it with the reality of today. Thus, Keren’s work raises complex questions regarding the possibilities of viewing and imagining history, as well as vision and knowledge in general.

 
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 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

Palestine: A Realistic Film

In 1932 the Missionary Film Committee produced the film “Palestine”. This forgotten society worked throughout the British colonies up until the late 1930s, creating religious-educational propaganda. This film, its negatives left buried in the archive until its discovery by Tali Keren, is an early cinematographic attempt to create a kind of biblical historical epic of the Holy Land. Its creator and producer, T.H. Baxter, saw Palestine at the turn of the 20th century as a “biblical reserve”, a place where time stood still. This view provided urgent motivation to film and document the region before progress could “exterminate its present past”. The film also presents the missionary institutions active in the “reserve”. Keren creates a series of contemporary references to the footage that still remains. She returns to the institutions it documents, joins the English Mission Hospital delegation to St. John Eye hospital Jerusalem, currently operated by Palestinian physicians, and revives the journey taken by Baxter and his associates while juxtaposing it with the reality of today. Thus, Keren’s work raises complex questions regarding the possibilities of viewing and imagining history, as well as vision and knowledge in general.

 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis