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Reframing Palestine: The Story of the American Colony Photo Department

In 1881, a sect of Swedish immigrants to America immigrated again to Jerusalem in anticipation of the End Times. In 1896, a second Swedish group of millennials traveled directly from Sweden to the now established American Colony in Jerusalem. One new convert to millennialism who joined the Colony established a photo department. His first assignment was to document early Zionist settlements at the request of Theodor Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization. Between 1881 and 1934, the American Colony provided a half-century's documentation of persons, places and events, and the photo collection is now considered the most prestigious in the Middle East. At the American Colony's store near the Jaffa Gate, where steamships docked, tourists assembled their own photo albums to be bound and shipped as coffee table mementos of their visits. Many groups are now rushing to rediscover photos in Swedish attics, behind walls in Jerusalem, and at the Library of Congress. Director Orna Raviv and Producer Itay Ken-Tor are right behind them.

How To Donate: 

All donations for the production and distribution of Reframing Palestine are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. If you would like to make a donation, please write your check to HARTLEY FILM FOUNDATION and designate it to Reframing Palestine in the lower left-hand corner.

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Hartley Update 

The filmmakers will create a space on the web for scholars and institutions to post or link to their own research on the American Colony, and plan to create a an interactive platform that invites viewers to construct their own films from the photo archive. Raviv will use light, lenses and digital resolution in order to draw viewers' attentions to easily missed details in the photos, and she will also tell the story of each photographer behind the images.

For More Information 

For more information, please contact Sarah Masters, Managing Director, Hartley Film Foundation
Phone: 1-800-937-1819 or 203-226-9500

E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.hartleyfoundation.org

If you would like to explore films with similar themes, please click on Judaism.