Two Recent Films from Israeli TV

by Rayna Moss

(The film "Mother V, A Story About Loyalty", a drama focusing on the image of Mordechai Vanunu's mother, was shown on Israel's Channel 2 on Sunday, November 11, at 22:00. Shachar Rozen's film features Levana Finkelstein, who won the Best Actress Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival; the film also won Best Drama Award.)

Hello All,

The film Mother V was broadcast this evening in Israel. What an exciting and moving event! Honest acting, credible characters, good dialogue and a positive human and political message. "Not everyone thinks that your son is a traitor," states one character, a soccer player from Dimona; "What a man!" says a Bedouin man who gives Mother V a ride to the prison.

The film is quite up to date and sticks close to the facts of Mordechai Vanunu's life, from his childhood in Morocco and in Israel, his conversion to Christianity and his adoption by an American couple. Also realistic is the prison's treatment of Mother V, who has come to visit her son for the first time in nine years: the guard sends her away, telling her that he has already had his one visit that week.

This evening's broadcast was certainly something for all Vanunu supporters to celebrate.


The documentary film "The Bomb in the Basement" was shown last week on Channel 2, and has already led to some public debate on the issue of Israel's nuclear arsenal. A commentary in Yediot Ahronot argued that, although no law has been changed, Shimon Peres simply decided that it was time to boast about his major role in establishing Israel's "nuclear option". Therefore, why should Vanunu still be imprisoned?

On the whole, the film added no new information and a large part of it focused on obscure political maneouvers within the Labor governments of the sixties. The name of Mordechai Vanunu was not mentioned.

The highlight of the film was the part in which Shimon Peres described being called back urgently from Senegal and flown by helicopter, along with the head of the Mossad, Issar Harel, to discuss with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, the immediate danger that the USA was about to discover the secret nuclear plant in Dimona.

Harel commented: "I never rode in a helicopter. I'm old, but my memory is very good. That sounds like one of Peres' tall tales."

-Rayna Moss