The Language Wars

Director - Alexander Kaplan           
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2008, Israel, 50 min Hebrew, Russian
Production format: Beta, D.V.D
"The Language Wars" concerns the conflicts within one family of Israel's last great immigration wave—that from Russia. The film follows the daily life of each character in his interactions with Israeli society. A quote from the family's son best summarizes what that means:
"Hi, my name is Danik and I'm almost 7 and my sister Karin is almost 5. We were born in Haifa we're Russians because that where our family is from. Mother, father, grandma, grandpa, our older brother and sister all came from that snowy place where they speak Russian to a place where they have palm trees and speak Hebrew. We like to speak Hebrew but our father wants us to speak Russian at home. He says it’s a crime not to know Russian. Mother wants us to read Pushkin's big book in Russian one day. She's very funny. Grandma says we shouldn't forget where we come from. Karin asks grandpa questions in Hebrew but I know how to ask him in Russian, especially how to do my math homework. Even my older sister can't read my mother's notes in Russian. My older brother can read and write Russian and only speaks Russian at home. Mom and dad always get angry at us when we speak Hebrew together."
This tale is not only a war of languages but also one of generations and cultures and a conflict that prevails in a nation where everyone was once an immigrant.
DOP: Victor Kendel
Editor: Victor Kendel


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