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New film portrays Jewish revolt against Romans in vivid, gripping detail

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In the annals of Jewish history, the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE was a world-altering moment, changing the trajectory of the Jewish people. Now, it’s a movie.

“Legend of Destruction” is filmmaker Gidi Dar’s latest creation. Made entirely of still drawings, the movie was written by Dar and actor Shuli Rand, and drawn by Michael Faust and David Polonsky of “Waltz with Bashir” fame. Actors Moni Moshonov, Yael Abecassis, Igal Naor and Amos Tamam also provide voices in the film.

The 90-minute film tells the story of the Jewish revolt against Rome in 70 CE, from the perspective of Ben Batiach, a good-hearted scholar who turns zealot, leading to the Roman siege on the city and the destruction of the Second Temple.

For a movie made from still art, it is a gripping watch, one that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Dar’s film unfolds from the days prior to the Israelites’ first, nascent protests against the Jewish elite who were playing a political game, balancing their protection of the Temple with their knowledge and fear of the Roman power.

Using drawings that lend a feel of vivid photography, Dar brings the tension and emotions of the crisis to life, demonstrating how critical the period was for the very nature of the Jewish nation.

That was his plan all along.

“I’m a crazily optimistic person, and sometimes my delusions come true,” he said. “All my projects are like that.”

Dar had been thinking about this period of Jewish history, which he had once learned about in school, but which he could not remember in detail. He picked up the historical tome written by Josephus Flavius and was shocked by the sheer insanity of those times.

“They went so far, their baseless hatred was hard to imagine,” he said. “And no one talks about it.”

There was never any question of doing a live-action........

© The Times of Israel

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