Good Morning Israel – After 20 Years

A 20 year project started by Amir Har-Gil upon his graduating in film studies. The prize winning “Good Morning Israel” he started 20 years ago described a weekday in the lives of 5 children: Meir from Kibbutz Maabarot, Yossi from Ofakim development town, Saar from Ramat-Aviv Gimmel, Mundar from Taybeh and Yehoshua from Kfar Habad. By filming the most resembling hour in their lives, the morning hour, Har-Gil created a microcosm of Israeli society. Ten years later the director returned to them and made another film which was screened on the eve of Independence Day. Now Har-Gil decided to embark on a journey to find out what has changed in the various Israeli protagonists, what changed in him. At the time, 20 years ago, the film focused on the most resembling hour in the protagonists’ lives, the hour of awakening until they got to school. At the time the differences between the children, their worldviews, their socio-economic conditions, beliefs and hopes were obvious. The film was awarded prizes and won media attention. Today, thirty years later, the director returns to the protagonists who are in their thirties, to see what has happened to them.  

Their story is the story of the country, a story of hopes, of values that have changed, of economic and cultural gaps. Some of the boys do not live in the place they were raised in; stereotypical divisions are not as simple anymore. Ten years ago, when the boys were filmed once again in their twenties, all of them bachelors with no children, before studies, they were still deliberating, unsure about the road they should take, considering various directions. Today that decision is behind them. What attracts them more? Should they follow the ways of their parents? Should they improve the place in which they were raised, the country in which they grew up? Should they care for themselves? Do they think alike or do they think differently? Are they closer or farther away from youths born in sectors different from their own? What do 30-year olds think about themselves, about the country, about their own and their country’s future.

A similar project called 7 UP was carried out in England. However Good Morning Israel is different. The English examined the individual. Can one study? What will become of a 7-year old boy who was born in a certain environment? They examined each individual. The intention of Good Morning Israel – After 20 Years was to examine the 30-year olds as an age cohort representing a generation, representing Israeli society, Israeli youths.   

Director: Amir Har-Gil

Production: Yahli Gat, Musa Productions

Editor: Micha Livneh

Photographer: Ofer Yanoov.

Length: 60 mins. Israel, 2007

Beyond the curiosity the story provokes, there is in this television “time capsule” something that teaches us about the children as well as about ourselves: what did we think, want, dream about 20-30 years ago? Did any of our expectations withstand the test of time?… Some places to which life leads us provide nice surprises. (Nir Kipnis, Globes).

20 years ago Amir Har-Gil prepared an unusual film “Good Morning Israel” in which he documented the lives of 5 boys from different sectors (Arab, Ultra-orthodox Jew, Kibbutz member, one from North Tel-Aviv, one from a development town) wishing to examine what is it that unites them, what creates distances. After ten years he returned to examine where his protagonists are; ten more years later, when the youths were in their late thirties time has come for the third station on the journey. (Noah Rom, Pnai Plus).