This testimony of shattered young veterans of Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War was taped at the time in a project headed by author Amos Oz – and immediately suppressed in the interests of national morale by the Israeli army.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
This potent Israeli documentary encourages us to consider whose interests are served when the traumatic experience of returning soldiers is deleted from the record. How different might the world be today if the horror stories told by young veterans of the 1967 Six-Day War had been heard at the time? The war, which began with Israel facing seemingly impossible odds, ended with it conquering Jerusalem, Gaza, Sinai and the West Bank. It is a war portrayed ever since in Israel as righteous defence. While the whole country was in the flush of victory, a group of young kibbutzniks led by author Amos Oz recorded conversations with soldiers returning from battle. Many were shattered by the sudden shift from defensive role to a mercilessly offensive one. They openly speculated about the ongoing impact of their brutality on the civilian Arab population. The Israeli army censored the recordings and they are heard here for the first time. Filmmaker Mor Loushy invites the surviving interview subjects to respond to their original testimony, and contrasts their recollected distress with official newsreel accounts of their heroism.