Plot: What’s it about?
Israel’s kibbutz movement has endured for over a hundred years, surviving as an attempt to create a true Jewish homeland. In Inventing Our Life: The Kibbutz Experiment, the genesis, downfall, and rebirth of this powerful revolution is explored. Three generations of participants are interviewed, which gives a broad, varied perspective on the movement. The kibbutz movement promoted communal living where everyone worked together to better the entire group, a kind of socialism with both political and religious overtones. The film takes us inside these communal locales, of which 270 exist at this time, but the movement’s future seems to be uncertain. That is one of the main issues explored in Inventing Our Life, whether the movement should continue and if it does, what the impact could be. This in depth look at a unique movement that has lasted for a century is loaded with insight and information from numerous perspectives.
I didn’t know much about the kibbutz movement before I watched Inventing Our Life, so I had a lot to soak in. I was able to learn a lot about the movement, but I still feel like some areas were glossed over here. I know the limited duration meant some topics would be skipped, but the film could have devoted more time in some places. I have to think those who have a base of knowledge about the movement will be best served here, as I was a little lost at times. Even so, the film gives some general background and seems to focus on the future of the movement. This is explored in interviews with participants of varied ages, who discuss how the movement has changed and where it could be down the road. As I mentioned above, the future of the movement is a prime issue in Inventing Our Life, so a good deal of time is devoted to that. While I was new to the subject, I found Inventing Our Life to be informative and well crafted. I do wish a little more detail was offered at times, but overall the film covers the topic well and for those interested, it is worth a look.
Video: How does it look?
Inventing Our Life is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The film looks good here, with a clean overall image that is consistent. The nature of the program kind of limits the visual dynamics, but as far as documentaries go, this one looks fine. The colors are natural and contrast is on the mark. Some footage/images look better than others of course, but that is to expected with a project of this kind.
Audio: How does it sound?
The sound design is basic, but that is fine in this case. The main elements are dialogue, whether in interviews or narration, so not a lot of presence is required. The vocals sound clean and easy to understand, which is crucial for this movie. There isn’t much else I could talk about audio wise, but the movie sounds good.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The extras here include an audio interview with the film’s director, as well as several deleted scenes.