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December 29: The First Hebrew Feature Film

December 29, 2014

Oded_the_wandererOded Hanoded (Oded the Wanderer), the first feature film made in Hebrew, directed by Chaim Halami, premiered at the Eden Cinema in Tel Aviv on this date in 1932. Based on a children’s story by Tsvi Liberman, the silent film portrays the adventures of Oded, a dreamy boy from a moshav who gets lost in the Jezreel Valley on a class outing. Oded has encounters with primitive but hospitable Bedouins, an awkward American Jewish tourist, and a variety of animals. “In a typically didactic effort,” says, “the film emphasizes the importance of working the land and restoring a Jewish connection to it.” To see an excerpt, look below. To read an interesting analysis of the film’s ideology, click here.

“[T]he major interest in watching the film stems from its attempt to deal with the conflict between the collective and the individual.” —Uri Klein