Mini freedom fighters

The LA Jewish Film Festival opens with a resounding film about the struggle for a Jewish state during the British Mandate.

By TOM TUGEND
May 7, 2008 11:41
2 minute read.
Mini freedom fighters

little traitor 88 224. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival will appropriately mark Israel's 60th anniversary with an opening film on the country's transition from British Mandate to independent state. The Little Traitor, kicking off the week-long festival on May 8, hearkens back to 1947, when "Palestinians" referred to the Jewish inhabitants and the hated enemies were British soldiers wearing red berets. The film, based on the semi-biographical novel Panther in the Basement by Amos Oz, combines the coming of age story of a young patriot with historical insights on the struggle for a Jewish state. Proffy (short for "professor") is an 11-year-old Jerusalem boy, who hates the British soldiers who occupy his land, impose strict curfews, and conduct midnight house raids. With two like-minded playmates, he forms the "underground cell" FOD ("Freedom or Death"), which sprays "British Go Home" graffiti on walls and tries to disable a British convey by scattering nails on the road. On most evenings, Proffy sneaks up to the rooftop to scan the roads for the British enemy through binoculars. Not infrequently, his attention strays to a lovely young woman in a neighboring apartment in various stages of undress. One evening, Proffy, played with remarkable authenticity by Ido Port, is caught after curfew hours by British Sgt. Dunlop, played by a sympathetic, if slightly corpulent, Alfred Molina. An unlikely but warm friendship develops between Proffy and the bible-reading soldier during mutual language lessons, in which Dunlop explains the meaning of "snooker" and Proffy introduced his friend to the subtleties of meshuggah. After a short time, Proffy's fellow young freedom fighters discover the relationship and denounce him as a traitor. Proffy is hauled before a Jewish Agency "court" and sternly examined by Theodore Bikel as an interrogator. In one of its most emotional scenes, the film recreates the almost unbearable tension of the November 1947 vote by the United Nations, which will determine the partition of Palestine between Arabs and Jews. Families huddle around the radio, keeping score of each country's vote, and then burst into the street in wild jubilation after the final count. Lynn Roth, who directed Little Traitor and wrote the screenplay, is a veteran Hollywood writer and producer, who has won numerous awards, especially as showrunner (executive producer) of the long-running 1980s television series The Paper Chase. She has also been a longtime teacher in the master class for Israeli filmmakers in the Los Angeles/Tel Aviv Partnership Program and said that she had dreamt for decades about making a film in Israel. After extensive preparations, she began filming Little Traitor in the old Musrara quarter of Jerusalem in the summer of 2006, and three days into the project the Lebanon War broke out. "It struck me as ironic that I was making a film about fighting in Palestine in 1947, and now, almost 60 years later, the bullets were flying again," she said. Despite such distractions, including the army call-up of some of her crew members, Roth "miraculously" completed shooting the film in 28 days. Roth, a New York native, said she is bound to Israel by many ties, not least the graves of all four grandparents in the Jewish state. Little Traitor is scheduled to open on Israel sometime in July.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA

Cookie Settings