Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force

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Castro Theatre Sun, Jul 27, 2014 7:00 PM
Cinearts at Palo Alto Square Mon, Jul 28, 2014 6:00 PM
California Theatre Sun, Aug 3, 2014 2:15 PM
Film Info
Director(s):Roberta Grossman
Year of Production:2013
Running Time:89


Click HERE to view a clip of the film

This gripping documentary unfolds like The Great Escape, a true-life wartime adventure story. In 1948, as the British withdrew from Palestine, and five Arab nations prepared to invade Israel, a ragtag group of young men from around the globe volunteered to defend the new country. Called Machal, or volunteers from abroad, many were World War II veterans from the US. Because of an embargo imposed by the Truman administration, Americans risked losing their citizenship by joining the fight. Produced by Nancy Spielberg, younger sister to Steven, this film celebrates the pilots who laid the foundation for the Israeli Air Force. It combines extraordinary archival footage and interviews with scholars, survivors and their descendants. Interviewees range from Shimon Perez to Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman), whose father Milton Rubenfeld flew combat missions. The bravery of these volunteers was incredible. The only aircraft available to them were American and German jets junked after the war, constantly liable to deadly mechanical failure. Amenities were equally scarce (many had to make do with discarded Nazi flight suits.) Despite their shoddy equipment, they exercised enough skill and trickery to persuade the invaders that their small squadron posed a far bigger threat than it really did, helping turn the tide of the war. -Emily Kaiser Thelin

North American Premiere

Sponsored by David and Fran Meckler

Producer Nancy Spielberg and Director Roberta Grossman