This film, “Censored Voices,” begins its commercial run in the US, Friday, November 20. What follows is approximately the first third of my review at the Jewish Currents website:
FOR ANYONE who cares about Israel, this is a very hard film to watch. About a week after the Six-Day War in June 1967, Avraham Shapira started recording interviews with kibbutzniks who had just returned from serving in the Israel Defense Forces. The English-language version of the book that resulted was titled, The Seventh Day: Soldiers Talk about the Six-Day War. But 70 percent of his recordings were censored by the IDF
. . . The action, such as it is, consists of these war veterans as old men, listening to their voices as recorded forty-eight years earlier. The most prominent is the writer and peace activist Amos Oz, who appears in the opening scene (pictured above) and reappears periodically as one of more than a half-dozen filmed individually, and repeatedly, listening to the tapes. The content of what they say is matched by vintage newsreel footage, including the on-scene reporting of an ABC television news correspondent.
The film’s view of the war’s origin is not anti-Israel. It depicts the encircling alliance of Arab armies — Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Iraqi — and the blood-chilling scenes of government-incited Egyptian mobs crying out for war, alongside masses of Arab soldiers marching through the streets. But very soon after the war begins, the Arab armies are in disarray and utterly defeated.
What becomes hard to absorb is the veterans’ post-war recollections that they killed or witnessed unnecessary killings of unarmed prisoners, or were ordered to kill young people dressed as civilians but assumed to be soldiers, or to kill enemy stragglers caught with their weapons. The accompanying footage depicted masses of helpless Arab soldiers and cowed civilians under Israeli control. Some Palestinians in the West Bank were shown being forcibly removed from their homes.
Click here for the entire article at the Jewish Currents website.