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Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment: movie review

'Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment' looks at the historical movement whose idealism was fulfilled when Israel achieved statehood.

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Toby Perl Freilich’s “Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment” is a straightforward, somewhat dogged documentary about a historical movement that was established by Jewish Zionists in 1910 when a dozen young Eastern Europeans settled in the Jordan Valley and founded a collective, called Degania, to practice socialist utopianism. 

Since that time, the kibbutz movement, which fulfilled its idealism when Israel achieved statehood, has morphed into many branches, some of them quite disparate. No longer, for example, are children in most kibbutzim housed and educated in separate quarters from their parents, not all are agrarian, and earned income is not always shared equally within the commune.

Freilich includes interviews with three generations of kibbutzniks and some fascinating historical footage going back to the 1920s. Grade: B (


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