Winner of the Golden Bear for the best long documentary film at the Berlin Film Festival, Chris Marker's film has been acclaimed both in France and Israel: "The best documentary on Israel, ever, and one that truly represents our life"; "The first serious film about Israel . . . everything shows the country excitingly, lyrically and with humour"— these reviews from Israeli magazines attest to the film's honesty of content.
In its twelve years of existence, the new state of Israel has been involved in many struggles. There was the pre-independence struggle of the mandate days; the struggle to defend themselves in the days of the Arab war; the internal strains between European Jews and Yemeni Jews, between the orthodox and the progressively modern; there was the struggle of Suez; but, above all there was, and still is, the struggle to produce enough wealth from the land to support a population of three millions. The film touches on something of each of these struggles, taking us from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, from modern Haifa to the desolate wilderness of the Cities of the Plain. The film is as diverse in its treatment as its subject is large.