Turn Left at the End of the World

As I’ve been told, most Israeli films use conflicts involving cultural integration.
In an Israeli film, there is usually a conflict between two cultural groups.

After scattering from Israel after WWII, and even in previous history, Israelites or Jews have moved to all continents and have adapted to the cultures there. Upon returning to Israel, the ‘caucasian’ Jews are given more benefits than the Mediterranean or African Jews. Housing and jobs are structured around racial profiling.

That is the issue in the movie, “Turn Left at the End of the World”. The characters in the film are also predominantly female, and the males are seen as passive characters.

One aspect of the film to be considered is ‘the gaze’. Is it a subjective gaze, objectified gaze, or oppositional gaze. There is the gaze of Simone and the Indian husband who look at each other on the bus and at the factory. There is the gaze of the Indians looking at the Moroccan Jews, and vice versa. These gazes objectify the ‘other’ through ideas of exoticism or foreign-ness. There is also the gaze of the young girl when she is dancing, or of the teacher from Tel Aviv when she visits him. It is very objective and these scenes reflect the lack of honor and naivity of the youth in Israel at the time (1960s).

Also I have some comments on the occurances in the film.
It is sad that Jews from all corners of the world were promised great opportunities in Israel but upon arrival, couldn’t escape because no ride would take people back through the desert. It is also upsetting to see the small community in the film act strangely. People start to act lawlessly with one another, and people try to stay true to their former cultures, by segregating themselves in their homes, their bars, through sports and so on.

It is sad that these Israelites, since they have practiced in other cultures for so long- have little similarity to the ‘fundamental’ Israelite community thousands of years ago. Perhaps it is not expected of them today. However, in the film there was not even a synagogue or church or any form of worship scene-which I found strange. Because the origin of the Israelite was defined as the man who had a covanent with God. They were God’s chosen people, and in the future it was prophecized that they would gather again as a nation- However, I didn’t realize that they would act like this…

I assume that the film is bringing such issues to light to explain the pros and cons of diaspora. A diaspora film usually highlights and acknowledges the cultures that now are part of identity.

I realize that perhaps it was also the director’s intention to allow the British Indians to appear as smarter than the Moroccans. This would have been a tool to dignify these characters since they are the newer additions to the suburb in Israel. However, the fact that a man from Tel Aviv, a Moroccan, and an Indian all end up in the same problems reveals that there is a commonality among the people- and that is their lack of self control.

I thought that people who established their own lives in other countries would have returned to Israel- knowing that it would be a struggle to build a unified state. If I were one of those characters, i’d try to bring my ideals into the community thinking of everyone’s benefits. In the film, this happened by fluke, when the Indians and Moroccans play cricket together and the British press come to document the match. Since there is a political event taking place around that time, many politicians opt to help in Israel’s problems, such as factory work safety.


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