Updated: Jul 31, 2019
This is a little odd. I’ve wanted to watch this for a while, but put it off due to the three and a half hours runtime. But now having watched it, I’ve this odd feeling I’ve seen it before, there’s a comfortable familiarity to it. It’s an epic picture very much of its day, in its make up at least. The tone though is altogether different, it’s not Hollywood entertainment and although it’s not gritty in the way that films covering the plight of Jews in more recent years have been, there’s undoubtably a realistic unease. Perhaps it’s the ever present sunshine, the widescreen Technicolor or the undoubtable star quality of Newman and Saint that makes this difficult story feel more accessible, but that’s probably the point to engage with as large an audience as possible. It’s hard to watch now without the context of knowing what has happened to Israel in the subsequent years. In fact despite its overall hopefulness, it doesn’t shy away from some of the more fractious elements. Much like it’s Technicolor presentation, it’s far from a black and white story, things in life rarely are.