Academic Advising for a Documentary Series

The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute invites filmmakers working in film and television to submit a proposal for a documentary series that will receive academic and intellectual advising by the Institute's researchers. From these submissions, the Institute will select one documentary project to receive academic advising. The Institute will assist in developing and deepening the necessary research and will help to consolidate the documentary materials. The extent of advising and research will be decided jointly with the filmmakers in accordance with the series' characteristics and needs. The series produced will be closely linked to one of the Institute’s areas of research and activity.

In 2021 the series selected to receive the Institute’s academic advising is The Elected Women – A series about the women elected to the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), directed by Efrat Shalom Danon and produced by Osnat Trabelsi.

The series focuses, for the first time, on the women in Israeli politics, tells their untold stories, and presents their claim to a place in history. The episodes of the series will alternate between the present and the past, between emeritae women politicians who reflect on how things were in their time and those in the current Knesset. The stories present a most unflattering, to say the least, picture of the place and stature of women in the Knesset. They describe the great difficulty for women to be elected, the discrimination they experience in promotion, the persistence of political “gender roles", and even sexual harassment. The same stories run like a thread throughout the years. Many of the interviewees say that their feminist consciousness was formed in the Knesset because it was there that they understood that they were treated differently because they were women. The feeling of isolation of the few who did succeed in getting into the hallowed hall of the security cabinet, for example, sounds similar when described by women from various political parties over the years.

The efforts and achievements of women in a central locus of power and decision-making in Israel are a mirror that reflects the status of women in the society in general and highlight the importance of their presence and contribution in all parts of the public sphere.

The academic support for the series is provided by the institute researchers Prof. Hanna Herzog, Prof. Naomi Chazan, and Ronna Brayer-Garb.

Hanna Herzog and Naomi Chazan in a still from the series. Photo credit: Tanya Aizikovich
Hanna Herzog and Naomi Chazan in a still from the series. Photo credit: Tanya Aizikovich

Director: Efrat Shalom Danon
Producer: Osnat Trabelsi
Acting producer: Anna Somershaf
Content editor: Ayelet Heller
Academic adviser: Lior Elefant
Photographer: Tanya Aizikovich
Editors: Miri Laufer, Uri Dardikman

Support: Kan—The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation

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