Operation Moses

Director - Radu Mihaileanu           
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2006, 90 min ,Israel / France, English/ French/ Hebrew
20th century Operation Moses – a secret exodus from Ethiopia - was an incredible human adventure and a huge task for the secret services.
Operation Moses was secretly organized by the Israeli Mossad and the USA with the help of non governmental organizations and unofficial consent from the governments of Sudan, France, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
In 1973, the chief rabbi Ovadia Yossef proclaimed that Falashas are descendants of the Israeli tribes, and are Jewish, therefore must be saved. From 1977 to 1985, 8000 Ethiopian Jews are brought home to Israel. 4000 die on the way.
As the pro-Soviet Ethiopian regime forbid its Jewish people to leave, many tried to reach Israel via Sudan. The march was long and painful. The refugees were constantly attacked both by their guides, who kept increasing the fees, or bandits, aware of the exodus and the money they carried. Women and children were kidnapped, sold or raped. Hundreds died of sickness, starvation or exhaustion.
Today, 100000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel; their integration is difficult.
In chronological order, throughout interviews, testimonies and other documents, the documentary will describe:
the exodus of thousands of Ethiopian Jews fleeing their villages for Israel
the diplomatic issue: governments for or against the cause, others double playing- officially negotiating for the exodus, unofficially trying to prevent it; complex geopolitics and relationships between Israel, the USA, Europe and Africa
the work of secret services and organizations to make the exodus possible
This time trial, the secrecy of the operation and the on-going question “will we be able to save these 12000 lives?” will show in the documentary.
The interviews will give rhythm to the story, one contradicting the other; the narrator making no comment. Images of archives will help the viewers visualize the events as they took place – some images being self-explanatory.
The documentary will be breathtaking - the viewers’ attention never at rest.
Rady Mihaileanu
DOP: Uzi Amir
Editing: Uzi Amir


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