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Belated Zionism: The Cinematographic Exiles of Mikhail Kalik

Anna Wexler Katsnelson
Jewish Social Studies
New Series, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Spring - Summer, 2008), pp. 126-149
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40207026
Page Count: 24
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Belated Zionism: The Cinematographic Exiles of Mikhail Kalik
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Abstract

This article reexamines the complexities and difficulties associated with the formation of an Israeli identity and an Israeli life among the Soviet Jews who made aliyah in Israel of the 1970s through the prism of immigrant cinematography. I focus on the career of Mikhail Kalik, a celebrated Soviet filmmaker who immigrated to Israel in 1971, as representative of misdirected expectations. Reframing the historical moment of Kalik's repatriation, I suggest that his motivation, a uniquely 1970s Soviet Jewish identity construct that hinged on discursive belatedness--was no longer in sync with Israeli society and was thus his undoing. A close reading of Kaliks two post-immigration films, "Shloshah ve-ahat" (The Three and the One) and "I vozzvraschiasetsia veter" (And the Wind Returneth), reveals their paradoxical aesthetic dependence on socialist-realism as a means of delivering an ideologically inflected message, as well as their ultimately damaging misreading of the new host society.

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