Maybe you are going to the Salute to Israel Day Parade this weekend, or maybe you are interested in learning more about films from this volatile region of the world - regardless of your motivation we thought this was a good time to get up to speed on films about Israel.

As Israel continues to capture the world's imagination both in the news media and as a spiritual place for three of the world’s major religions, these films provide insight into the culture of this society.

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"Exodus." Paul Newman stars in this acclaimed film about the birth of Israel. This is almost universally referred to as the best movie about Israel ever made. Most Israeli's do NOT look lik Paul Newman, but he does capture the attitude of the population quite well.

"The Syrian Bride." The winner of several awards, "The Syrian Bride" explores the ways in which politics can have a major affect on a family’s personal lives.  This is a region full of conflict, we like this movie begins it shows how people deal with the conflict within the framework of their every day lives.

"Beaufort." "Beaufort" is set in the days leading up to the Israeli army's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.  This is a film about doing your duty as a soldier and the inherent moral conflicts that come with this job.  This is less of an action movie, and more of a personal exploration into what it means to be a soldier.

"Walk on Water." "Walk on Water" is the best movie about Israel to address the taboo subject of homosexuality.  Considered by some to be a sin that is punishable by death in the old testament, this movie opened against a backdrop of ignorance and hostility that still exists to some level today.

"Turn Left at the End of the World." This film explores the immigration of two Jews from decidedly different cultural backgrounds to Israel in the '60s.  Israel is a melting pot of scores of cultures crammed into a space smaller than New Jersey, and NO, not everyone gets along so well.