When Israel Went Out | Shagrir Collection

Production Notes

The film won the B’nai Brith Award for Best Film, 2012.
Festival Screenings: The Sheba Film Festival, NY, 2012. San Diego Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2012. NY Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, USA, 2011. San Diego Black Film Festival, USA, 2011. Isratim, Paris, 2011. Israfest NY, USA, 2012–01–25. Haifa International Film Festival, 2010.


Eight Israelis–Ethiopian and native-born–return in late 2009 to retrace the treacherous trek that led thousands of Ethiopian Jews to fulfill their prophecy of reaching Israel, their Promised Land, 25 years earlier. Faced with the complexities of the land of their birth, the Ethiopians, now modern Israelis, experience challenges to their identity and ideals. Between 1983-1989, thousands of ‘Flash’ Jews marched nearly 200 kilometers from Gondar, Ethiopia toward the Sudanese border, in the hope of reaching Israel. These immigrants, including many elderly, women and children, suffered from starvation, dehydration and political persecution during the hard trek. Almost 2,000 died along the way. Those who survived were taken under top-secret cover to Israel, where they landed as citizens. When Israel Went Out follows the journey of the eight Israelis on the trek, exploring the meaning of their ancestry, the physical struggle of the journey and the emotional journey of changing an identity.

Production Details

Production country: Israel
Filming Location: Israel, Ethiopia
Image: Color
Languages: Hebrew and Amharic with English subtitles
Available Formats: DVD, Beta
Director: Meni Elias
Producer: Micha Shagrir
Production Company: Shiba Communications Ltd.
Supported by: Ruppin Academic Center, The AviChai Foundation, Teva, The Rashi Foundation, The Blue Square, Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, The Rich Foundation, The Ministry of Absorption
Purchased for Broadcast by: The Israel Broadcasting Authority, Channel 1
Cinematography: Meni Elias
Editing: Serg Bezrukoff
Original Music and Sound Design: Kobi Vitman
Sound Recording: Haim Meir



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