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Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment
A film by Toby Perl Freilich

80 minutes, documentary, color, English & Hebrew w/ English subtitles, 2011

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Set against the backdrop of the kibbutz movement's glorious 100-year history, Inventing Our Life reveals the heartbreak and hope of Israel's communal living experiment as a new generation of women and men confront an essential question: can a radically socialist institution survive a new capitalist reality?

In this "illuminating and entertaining" (Jewish Week) documentary, director Toby Perl Freilich explores the modern history of Israel, from its revolutionary settlers to the political upheaval that shook the socialist foundations of the state. With their desire to create a Jewish homeland and build a more just society, the first settlers helped place kibbutzim in the vanguard of Israeli history. In doing so, they became a magnet for all those who shared one thing in common - a powerful urge to invent their own life.

View an Excerpt


"Engrossing... Fascinating!" - The New York Times

"A brilliant film about one of history's most remarkable utopian experiments."
- Joseph Dorman, director of Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness

"Excellent... Recommended! A sympathetic but probing account of the rise, fall and rebirth of a movement that defined the early character of the fledgling state of Israel. Freilich comes to her subject with a generous curiosity and a gift for digging beneath the usual debates." - NPR

"Both entertaining and illuminating!" - Jewish Week

"Ambitious, complex, well-done and edifying." - Spirituality and Practice Magazine

"Excellent!" - The Forward

Recommended Reading

The Kibbutz: Awakening from Utopia by Daniel Gavron

One Hundred Years of Kibbutz Life: A Century of Crises and Reinvention ed. Michal Palgi & Shulamit Reinharz

A Living Revolution: Anarchism in the Kibbutz Movement by James Horrox


See details about this film's theatrical run.

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