After World War II and the end of the British Mandate, the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was meant to be a fresh start for a region which had a deep history of turmoil. This brave new world of the territory being split between Jews and Arabs was destined to fail before it even began, with civil war breaking out before the ink was dry. It started a conflict which still rumbles on today. Image of Victory takes an unusual approach to documenting the Battle of Nitzanim.
Mohamed Hassanein Heikal (Amir Khoury), an idealistic young journalist, joins of group of volunteers from the Egyptian Brotherhood sent to capture the Kibbutz Nitzanim, an isolated coastal collective. The Israeli Defence Force, underestimating the threat, send a bunch of freed prisoners to bolster the community. The defenders find themselves hopelessly outnumbered, but the spirit of the likes of Mira (Joy Rieger), gives them hope.
It’s not unusual for nationalistic war films to come out of the region, but in Image of Victory we are presented with two sides of the same anti-war story. There’s a lively narrative on both sides, particularly the Israeli, which tells the tale of ordinary people placed in an extraordinary position. It’s the beautifully realised drama which makes Avi Nesher’s film so entertaining. Image of Victory is a moving and powerful movie about the ultimate cost of conflicts.
Image of Victory will join Digital Platforms on 23 May.