Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin
Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin
Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin
Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin

Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin

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    • Directed by: Jonathan Gruber
    • Released: 2021 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2020
Running Time: 88 min
Language: English
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Jewish Studies, Middle East
Imprisoned by the Soviets. Orphaned by the Holocaust. Elected Prime Minister. Crowned peacemaker by the Nobel Prize Committee. Disgraced by the Lebanon War. Menachem Begin was a pillar of the State of Israel and a tireless fighter for the Jewish people.
He was, at the same time, a controversial leader. Whether he was challenging the British, founding the Likud political party or fighting to end bigotry against Middle Eastern and African Jews in Israeli society, his dedication to his country and his people was boundless. Still, that unwavering commitment could bear untoward consequences. In 1948, as Israel fought for its life as a nation, his role in the tragic Altalena Affair ended in the deaths of 19 Jews and at Deir Yassin, where more than 100 Palestinians died, including women and children, haunted him until the day he died. As Prime Minister of Israel, he made a historic peace deal with Egypt, and he also gave the go-ahead to bomb Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear reactor.
His life is a nuanced and complicated canvas that tells the story of key events and currents in the history of modern Israel and its relationship to its Middle East neighbors. The recent ground-breaking peace agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco make this a propitious time to look back at Begin’s achievements and consider them in a new light.
With evocative imagery, rarely seen archival materials, and revealing interviews with those who knew him, UPHEAVAL portrays the life and essence of this brilliant, tough, complex, loving, and proud man who never compromised when the survival of Israel and the Jewish people were at stake.
Official Selection of the Heartland International Film Festival 2020 and the Atlanta Jewish film Festival 2020

“It is a film as dense as it is informative and is sure to provide some background to the current situation in the Middle East, which might be especially useful for those unfamiliar with its chequered history — and even for those who think they are experts.” – The Jewish Chronicle

“Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin does not solve Begin’s paradoxes, but it does a very good job presenting them.” – Film Threat


About the filmmaker 
Jonathan Gruber has been directing, writing, and producing award-winning documentary films for more than 20 years. With his company, Black Eye Productions, he has helped celebrate long overlooked individuals, inform generations, build brands, facilitate social movements, and, of course, entertain. His documentaries are immersive viewing experiences, and include Miriam Beerman: Expressing the Chaos, Follow Me, Life Is a Banquet, Jewish Soldiers in Blue & Gray, STU, and Pola’s March. He was also the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of the MSNBC series, The Story of Cool. Jonathan specializes in building trust with his interview subjects, gently taking them on a storytelling journey and ultimately creating an environment that allows for honesty and vulnerability. Whether a 90-minute documentary film, a two-minute viral video, or a 30-second advertisement, Jonathan looks at all projects as stories worth remembering.


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