Susan Sontag’s third directorial effort and her only documentary, Promised Lands (1974) which scrutinizes the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict and the growing divisions within Jewish thought over the question of Palestinian sovereignty, shot in Israel during the final days and immediate aftermath of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Sontag structures the film as an antiphony between two sets of images. The first consists of observational sequences detailing moments from modern Israel: desert landscapes, patrols of roadside soldiers, old men and women at the Wailing Wall, Israeli grocery stores and movie theaters, the Jerusalem War Cemetery, a military psychiatric ward, and a wax museum depicting the official history of the state. Intercut throughout are conversations with two intellectuals: writer Yoram Kaniuk, a supporter of Palestinian rights who sees Israel shifting from its socialist roots to an American-style commercial culture, and physicist Yuval Ne’eman, who argues for the endemic nature of Arab anti-Semitism. –The Film Desk
Sontag, Susan, 1933-2004, American writer and critic, b. New York City. She grew up in Arizona and California, studied philosophy at the Univ. of Chicago, Harvard, and Oxford, absorbed Gallic culture in Paris, and settled (1959) in New York City. Regarded as a brilliant and original thinker and highly visible as one of the most prominent public intellectuals of the second half of the 20th cent., Sontag became known for her vividly written critical essays on avant-garde culture in the 1960s. Most of these were collected in Against Interpretation (1966), in which she popularized the word camp, referring to exaggerated reproductions of the style and emotions of pop culture.
Sontag’s essays on radical politics are collected in Styles of Radical Will (1969). She meditated on the nature of photography in On Photography (1977), explored the ways in which disease is demonized in Illness as Metaphor (1978) and AIDS and Its Metaphors (1989), analyzed various modernist writers and filmmakers… read more
Preservation: Grants and a Blogathon. Plus, Bill Morrison, Kurt Kren, Susan Sontag and more.
"If there is one aspect of Susan Sontag's multifaceted life that has resisted enshrinement, it is her film career." In the Los Angeles Times