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July 24, 1987 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-07-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Berries 'n Bon Bons

ATTENTION: PARENTS OF SUMMER CAMPERS!

Send a survival kit full of
love and noshes from home.

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END
TABLE

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George
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'Late Summer Blues'
Hits Close to Home

NECHEMIA MEYERS

Special to The Jewish News

Rehovot, Israel — My wife,
Adeerah, left the theater in
tears last week after the
screening of Late Summer
Blues, a moving new Israeli
film about a small group of
Tel Aviv 12th graders in the
early 1970s just before their
induction into military ser-
vice, from which two never
return.
Having taught such kids for
over two decades, having
heard them indulge in grad-
uation-night black humor
about "meeting again on the
school's memorial plaque,"
and, finally, after having been
devastated on several occa-
sions when some of their
names were indeed inscribed
on that plaque — the story
simply cut too close to the
bone for Adeerah.
"Please don't take me to
any more such films," she
declared vehemently when
we returned home from the
cinema.
Yet Late Summer Blues, the
first full-length feature of
scriptwriter Doron Nesher
and director Renan Schorr, is
not a war film in any conven-
tional sense of the term, for it
doesn't actually show any of
the horrors of war. Not a
single battle scene is por-
trayed; not a gunshot is
heard. But armed conflict —
in this case the almost forgot-
ten War of Attrition that
claimed the lives of some 250
Israeli soldiers in skirmishes
along the banks of the Suez
Canal — is never far away. As
my 18-year-old soldier son
Oren said after seeing this
film, "that war was like some
kind of off-screen black hole
into which the protagonists
were being sucked."
Having himself recently
completed the 12th grade and
a subsequent "last summer of
freedom," Oren is in a good
position to judge the film's
authenticity, to which he
gives high marks. He readily
identified the youngsters por-
trayed with his own small
group of close friends, who
had quiet similar eve-of-
induction friendships, con-
flicts and love affairs.
Moreover, his friends were
also inveterate protestors
against the country's political
leadership and, like their
celluloid counterparts, final-
ly joined front-line combat
units because "there is
nothing else to do if our coun-
try and families are to sur-
vive."

There are no stars in Late
Summer Blues, all the actors
being virtually unknown,
which is another reason that
Oren and his friends could so
easily see themselves on the
screen. Whether foreign au-
diences will find the acting of
these fledgling performers
painfully honest or ex-
cruciatingly amateurish re-
mains to be seen. But Nesher
and Schorr have almost cer-
tainly adopted the right ap-
proach if one is to judge by the
experience of the now
flourishing Australian film
industry. Previously little
known outside kangaroo
land, it won substantial out-
side audiences by faithfully
and skillfully portraying the
reality of life Down Under.
Reality can, of course, be
painf)il for those personally
concerned, as Oren is quick to
note. Platoon, he told me,
didn't bother me too much,
perhaps because I couldn't
imagine myself fighting in
Vietnam. But Late Summer
Blues hit straight home."

NEWS

1 .1.1.

Foxman Now
ADL Director

New York (JTA) —
Abraham Foxman, 47, has
been appointed national
director of the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai
B'rith, succeeding the late
Nathan Perlmutter, ADL na-
tional chairman Burton
Levinson announced last
Monday.
Foxman served as associate
national director and head of
the ADL's International Af-
fairs Division since 1978. He
and Perlmutter were a "re-
markable team," Levinson
said. "Thanks to the unusual-
ly close relationship, both per-
sonal and professional, ADL
is assured the continuity of
leadership essential to con-
tinued progress in meeting
the many challenges which
confront the world Jewish
community"
Foxman received a law
degree from New York Uni-
versity Law School. He is also
a graduate of City University
of New York and did graduate
work in advanced Judaic
studies at the Jewish
Theological Seminary of
America and in international
economics at the New School
for Social Research.

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