Thursday, March 5, 2015

AIPAC Film Festival: Touchdown Israel

I had the chance to attend the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this week and was fortunate enough to attend several film screenings during breakout sessions while I was there. Please enjoy a brief summary and review below!

Touchdown Israel
Directed by Paul Hirschberger

Throughout its existence since 1948, American football has not been a popular sport in Israel. Yet the connection between American and Israeli culture provided the perfect opportunity to football to make its way to Israel, thanks to an emigrated American and a donor more than happy to sponsor the beginnings of a league in the young country. It turns out that Israelis are rather enthusiastic about the sport, and a number of teams have popped up around the country. There is plenty of comedy to be found in this affirming documentary, like high-scoring games due to different regulations and team and field sizes, but the more important message here is one of cooperation. While some teams do not open their ranks to all cultures, most include a mix of Jews, Arabs, Filipino immigrants, and others, creating one common ground where heritage and religion come second to playing the game. This is a fully involving, informative, and entertaining spotlight on how one sport manages to unite a country in its small way. It even managed to enthrall this reviewer, who is hardly a fan of sports.

Learn more about the film at

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