Contact: Kelly Hargraves
(323) 662-1930


First Run Features Announces the U.S. Theatrical Premiere of

Opening April 25, 2012, at New York's Quad Cinema

Set against the backdrop of its glorious 100-year history, Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment reveals the heartbreak and hope of Israel's modern kibbutz movement as a new generation struggles to ensure its survival. Can a radically socialist institution survive a new capitalist reality? How will painful reforms affect those who still believe in the kibbutz experiment, and continue to call it home?

Through the lens of its communal movement, 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. We meet first, second and third generation members from kibbutzim like Degania, the flagship commune established in 1909; Hulda, once near collapse and recently privatized; and Sasa, the first to be settled entirely by Americans and today Israel's wealthiest kibbutz.

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.

As the film progresses, the core drama shifts from Can it survive? to Yes, but at what price? Although it examines the impact of external political and economic forces on the kibbutz movement, Inventing Our Life also demonstrates how the system's own most cherished principles may have helped to undermine it.

In addition to the voices of contemporary and former kibbutz members, Inventing Our Life features narrative exposition and commentary from leading Israeli academics including philosophers Avishai Margalit, Menachem Brinker and Moshe Halbertal, who place the kibbutz story within its wider historical and intellectual framework.

Filmmaker Toby Perl Freilich is a freelance film producer and writer. Freilich co-produced and wrote the documentary film Secret Lives: Hidden Children & Their Rescuers, selected by Andrew Sarris as one of the ten best non-fiction films of 2003 and featured on HBO/Cinemax. The film also won a Christopher Award for "affirming the highest values of the human spirit." Freilich was nominated for a news and documentary Emmy in the category of Outstanding Achievement in a Craft: Writing, and Secret Lives was nominated in the category of Outstanding Historical Programming. She also was co-producer of the Emmy-nominated Resistance: Untold Stories of Jewish Partisans, an independent PBS documentary that was broadcast nationally in April 2002. Freilich is a contributing writer to The Forward and Tablet Magazine.

"Unremittingly thought-provoking." - Michael Fox, San Diego Jewish Journal

"Examines the kibbutz movement as a key thread within the greater tapestry of the history
of the State of Israel and speaks with an intimacy that strikes an emotional chord.
I challenge any viewer not to be moved by this fine, fine work of documentary art."
- David Leach, University of Victoria BC

New York Press Screening

Wednesday, April 4th at 6 p.m.
Magno Review #2
729 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10019

RSVP by Friday, March 30th to:

Screeners also available

80 minutes, digital, stereo, English & Hebrew w/English subtitles, documentary, 2011
Director, Producer & Writer: Toby Perl Freilich
Editor: Juliet Weber
Director of Photography: Itamar Hadar
Narrator:Tracy Thorne

Press kit, photos & more available at