Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment

Israel United States
Toby Perl Freilich
Movie year
81 min

A fascinating and deeply comprehensive look at some of the most famous kibbutzim: Degania (the first, flagship kibbutz), Sasa, Ein Shemer, Hulda and others. In this film, not only do we have an opportunity to see and hear from some of the founders as they discuss the philosophies behind their creation, but also from second and third-generation kibbutzniks, who talk of growing up on a collective; some reveal their experiences to have been nurturing, while others talk of having felt cheated and constrained. Most importantly, however, the film describes the changing faces of these kibbutzim, which were designed for a pioneering country that no longer exists. In an attempt to survive, they travel an unfamiliar road to adapt. In 1987, a new concept—the “Urban Kibbutz”—was created. Is there hope for the future of those who thrive in a collective setting? Can technological sophistication and collective living exist side by side while providing a caring environment?

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