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Third Side of the Coin (1960)

Description d'un combat (original title)
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Credited cast:
Ali Ali ... Un jeune Musulman
Père Gauthier Père Gauthier ... Lui-même - un prêtre français
Monsieur Klein Monsieur Klein ... Lui-même - un Juif ami des chats
Yaakov Malkin Yaakov Malkin ... Narration
Mouna Mouna ... Elle-même - une fillette musulmane chef de famille
Jean Vilar Jean Vilar ... Narrator (voice)


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Israel | France


French | Hebrew

Release Date:

1960 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Third Side of the Coin See more »

Filming Locations:

Israel See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?


Director was strictly opposed to show this documentary filmed in 1960 after the Six-Day War in 1967 because he condemned Israel's new policy . It was released in theaters (and available on DVD) only in 2017, four years after Marker's death. See more »


Referenced in Description of a Memory (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

The portrait of a young state and a bygone state of mind
19 December 2014 | by eyal philippsbornSee all my reviews

First of all, a disclosure. As you can probably tell from the user info, I am an Israeli and no matter how hard I try, there is no way i'll review this title through purely objective eyes. The good news are that the reality perpetuated in the movie and reviewed here, doesn't exist anymore.

What was Israel in 1960, you ask? It was a country basking in the warmth of stability after a decade long era of wars that pre-dated Israel itself. social oriented communities called Kibbutz were in their golden age and harvested many of Israel's future key figures; Agriculture was Israel's main export and so was the feeling of redemption of the never redeemed wrong of the holocaust. Chris Marker, traveled the length and breadth for a month to capture the faces that tell the stories and the message these stories carry. He wondered through the culture center of Haifa, the hangout for intellectuals and photographed the droves of north-African immigrants' parade for Rabbi Meir, an apparently formidable (I am highly secular, mind you) Rabbi who is buried near the sea of Galilee. Marker canvassed the than virgin shores of Eilat who would later become a highly thriving and grotesquely commercial city and depicted the poor kids of Haifa who find themselves as part of the workforce.

You might wonder if these sporadic scenes carry any message. They do and Marker stresses it. Israel is the country who was born from the wrong doing of several nations. One name appears on the top of my head as it does in yours, I'm sure but Marker notes that Great Britain took the grief stricken refugees and locked them in concentration camps in Cyprus. Marker states (via narrator) that "Israel can't afford not to be right". Not because Israelis are error-free humans but because it exists solely as a safety net of for Jews that might feel threatened by countries that are now or will be wrong.

The movie is touching to the Israeli and provides a time capsule of a bygone era. Era where Naivity was considered noble. The movie suffers from melodramatic approach and doesn't address inter-racial tension but otherwise, it's very compelling and engrossing.

One last thing, some might wonder how is the Palestinian plight debated in the film. It's not. Mainly because there were no Palestinian groups at 1960 (PLO was formed in 1963) and more importantly because it was peace time and those who could profit from it, regardless of creed, have.

Could the movie appeal to those who never set foot in Israel? the top prize it picked on Berlin festival of 1961 indicates that it might. Can it be a mirror of modern day Israel? god, no.

9 out of 10 in my FilmOmeter

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