Promised Lands (1974)

This is Susan Sontag’s documentary about Israel, shot during the Yom Kippur war. Much of it is strictly observational, though there are some effectively didactic juxtapositions — and several talking heads from across the Israeli political spectrum. Some might object that the Palestinians, whose fate is discussed in terms both cynical and sympathetic, don’t have their own voice in the film, but the limits of the films can also be said to give it a formal coherence. Those who know Sontag’s work in general will find her usual searching intelligence, compassion, and fearlessness here.

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