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reviews 101 Finally, there is the way in which the poems work formally as a collection. For one, they simultaneously give a sense of fragmentation and continuity, adding to Kim's portrayal of the process of immigration and fitting thematically with the general sense of instability. For example , in "Arrival Which Is Not An Arrival," a question in part one, "What, all over, is the same?" (32), is answered in part three, while other lines are left off mid-sentence: "A slanted chair in a narrow room to de-emphasize the elongated / room she / Grief pooling is the same all over " (34). Further, there is the variation of styles mentioned above, at one moment journalistic and prose-like, while at another, quite abstract. There is much to this short but dense collection of poems. Lines seem to interconnect as the poems speak of one another; one is prompted to flip pages, moving back and forth between them. Such piecing together of experience, then, becomes one of the effects of this collection. In short, it is a powerful work, intricate and memorable in its telling. PATRICIA A. SAKURAI Israeli Cinema: East West and the Politics of Representation, by Ella Shohat. Austin: University 1 3.95 (paper). One day in the summer of 1985, I stood in line for over an hour at the Middle East/Asia counter of the London Student Travel Bureau. When I reached the head of the line I told the agent, "I want to buy a ticket to Tel Aviv." "You're in the wrong line, sir," he replied matter of factly. "If you want a ticket for Israel, you'll have to go to the Europe counter." The ambivilance of Israel's "location"—a country positioned "in" the East but resolutely determined not to be "of it—is the focus of Ella Shohat'a Israeli Cinema: East West and the Politics ofRepresentation. Although the vast majority of Israel's population is ethnically "Third World" (70 percent, 90 percent if one includes the Occupied Territories), Israeli cinema reflects dominant Ashkenazi-European ideology in its systematic denial of Israel's Eastern or hybrid character. Israeli's identification with the West and its rejection of dialogue with the East manifests itself cinematically through the adoption of positions of "flexible positional superiority" (Palestinians and Sephardic Jews) as inferiors. Shohat traces this problematic diachronically, through a masterful examination of the four major genres (heroic-nationalist, "bourekas," personal cinema, and the "Palestinian wave") that mark the history of Israeli film. "Heroic-nationalist" films, the dominant genre during the I950's, Israeli cinema'a formative period, depict the Zionist fight for Jewish indépendance. These films often include a naive Westerner in their cast, an "objective" character-witness who gradually learns from the Sabra fighter that Israel, a tiny nation under siege, has "no choice" but to do battle with the Arabs. These films teach the Western spectator that his/her interests and those of the Zionist fighter are linked; they recruit the West to the Zionist project in the common struggle of "us" against "them." The enemy in the heroic-nationalist film, the Arab, is typically an anonymous, dark presence whose narrative function is simply to attack Jews. This treatment of Arabs, however, is less black-and-white than Hollywood's, since a "good" Arab character or two is usually also present. "Good" Arabs are obedient Arabs who serve as Zionist mouthpieces, affirming their own back- 102 reviews wardness while proclaiming their gratitude for the blessings of civilization offered by the benevolent , superior Jewish settlers. The message is that the Arab-Israeli problem could be easily resolved if only the Arabs would stop their irrational and fanatical rejection of the benefits available from Israel and simply be "good" Arabs. While Oriental Jewish characters are largely absent from the heroic-nationalist films, the fact that Oriental Jewish actors play Arabs affirms hegemonic views associating Sephardim with Middle Eastern primitivism. After a decline in the early sixties, heroic-nationalist films enjoyed a minor revival after Israel's spectacular victory over the Arabs in June 1967. The budgets were bigger, and the films were faster paced, more spectacular, and less humane in tone, since the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2157-4189
Print ISSN
0026-5667
Pages
pp. 101-104
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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