The First Will Be the Last

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The First Will Be the Last

During the War of Independence in 1948 the residents of the village of Biram were evacuated and received an explicit promise that they would soon be allowed to return to their homes. The village was destroyed and the promise never kept. The saga of Biram has turned the ruins into a pilgrimage site for the villagers and their families. They gather there every Easter to shake hands in the solidarity that guides them, and find solace in the words of the New Testament that one day, “The first will be the last.” Among the refugees are elders in their long white gowns and a younger generation, including actor Yussuf Abu-Varda and Linda Aissa, a probation officer now living in Tel Aviv. They are all faced with the dilemma of how to preserve the experience of being expelled from their village while integrating into the Jewish society around them.

Festivals and Awards:

Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 1997

Director: Maya Barr, Avner Feingulernt

Producer: Maya Barr, Avner Feingulernt

Cinematographer: Valentin Belonogov, Eytan Harris

Editor: Tamar Yaron

Supporter(s): The New Fund for Cinema and Television, the Keshet Foundation, the National Council for Culture and the Arts

Subtitles: English

Film Name in Hebrew: ראשון יהיה אחרון

During the War of Independence in 1948 the residents of the village of Biram were evacuated and received an explicit promise that they would soon be allowed to return to their homes. The village was destroyed and the promise never kept. The saga of Biram has turned the ruins into a pilgrimage site for the villagers and their families. They gather there every Easter to shake hands in the solidarity that guides them, and find solace in the words of the New Testament that one day, “The first will be the last.” Among the refugees are elders in their long white gowns and a younger generation, including actor Yussuf Abu-Varda and Linda Aissa, a probation officer now living in Tel Aviv. They are all faced with the dilemma of how to preserve the experience of being expelled from their village while integrating into the Jewish society around them.

Festivals and Awards:

Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel, 1997

Director: Maya Barr, Avner Feingulernt

Producer: Maya Barr, Avner Feingulernt

Cinematographer: Valentin Belonogov, Eytan Harris

Editor: Tamar Yaron

Supporter(s): The New Fund for Cinema and Television, the Keshet Foundation, the National Council for Culture and the Arts

Subtitles: English

Film Name in Hebrew: ראשון יהיה אחרון

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