Restoration and Preservation
In the wake of the Russian immigration to Israel, there has been new found interest in the Jewish cultural heritage. Wanting to enrich the Cinematheque's collection with historically and artistically important films together with the institution's commitment to preserve testimonies pertaining to Jewish history, has brought members of the Cinematheque's staff to wander through Russian archives' basements, hunting hidden treasures. In the many years since the hunt begun, many films depicting the lives of Jewish communities in Russia and Ukraine from the beginning of the 20th century have been recovered. However, there are still many archives to be looked through. In the summer of 2008, in the Russian National Archive, a silent newsreel from 1913 was discovered. The Newsreel was filmed and edited by the Pathe Brothers in Russia, and tells the story of the Beilis blood libel trial. In this rare newsreel you can see the Beilis Family, Menahem Mendel Beilis brought to court, the whereabouts of the discovery of the body, and footage of the false testimonies. This unique material was deposited, along with other important Jewish footage, in the Israel Film Archive.
The preservation of films in all current formats is done according to the highest and most restrict international standards. This continuing work assures that these treasures will be available to future generations. Additionally, In addition, the team also works to digitally preserve the film materials, restore and scan films and screenings, and making them accessible to the general public through screenings at the Cinematheque and around the world.
A selection of the restoration projects:
Israeli films of the 1950s-1970s, the restoration of the Haim Gouri Trilogy, Uri Zohar’s Three Days and a Child, and Rafi Bukai’s Avanti Popolo.