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INVENTING OUR LIFE: The Kibbutz Experiment

Director - Toby Perl Freilich
Run Time - 81 minutes
Language - English & Hebrew w/English subtitles
Format - DVD
Year - 2011
Genre - Documentary
Educational Interest - History (World), Jewish Studies, Labor Studies,
Middle East, Peace & Conflict Resolution, Political Science

Institutional DVD Price: $295





Set against the backdrop of its glorious 100-year history, Inventing Our Life 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.



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