Forget everything you know about Israel. For me that was an embarrassingly simple task. But my cultural ignorance does have a benefit: when I watch a video as impacting as “This Isreal”, I’m captivated. Just as the director of the short film, I was unaware of Israel’s complexities. Traversing through a land of diverse people and busy streets, Matthew Brown matches the at times confusing activity of the state with an equally confounding camera strategy.
His road trip would lead him through towns with beautiful people who he would come to make bonds with and at the same time teach him of the Israeli ways. In a way, we are learning with the director. For instance, the intense scene running from the opening title to about a minute and a half in owes its intensity to the Zfira. This horn sound is used to “call” all the Jewish people to stop and remember those who are no longer with them. It is played on Holocaust day and the IDF Fallen Soldier Remembrance Day.