June 5 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Israel's battle to reclaim its biblical heartland. The Six-Day War is a critical period in the country's history, and we've produced a film called "In Our Hands" to bring the heart of the story to the big screen.
Arab nations with a battle plan surrounded Israel in 1967. That out-manned and out-gunned the young country.
And according to Abdel Rahman Aref their goal was clear – to wipe Israel off the map!
"The Syrian Army with its finger on the trigger is united, and I believe the time has come to begin the battle of annihilation," Syrian Defense Minister Hafez al-Assad once said.
The Jewish nation's survival depended on six days of war.
They began in early June, and those days are re-lived in the film, "In Our Hands," through the compelling stories of Israeli paratroopers.
Production for "In Our Hands" took just under one year to complete, and one of the most pivotal battle scenes was shot at Ammunition Hill.
"We were shooting on this jeep right here. This was actually originally Mordechai Gur's jeep," actor Idan Barkai said.
Actor Sharon Friedman, who played Mordechai Gur, also known as "Motta" Gur, said his grandfather was in the siege on Jerusalem.
"And he was telling about it to me, when I was young. And it is like unbelievable that I am playing, like the one who released the city and take it back. It's the place where my grandfather used to be here, unprotected," he said.
Sharon plays the 55th brigade commander, Mordechai Gur, and Idan plays the brigade's chief intelligence officer, Arikachmon.
When playing the characters in the movie Friedman and Barkai say they were honored to play such impressive people.
"You feel obligated to honor that person. But Arik Achmon is such a great person, I was humbled. I just tried to do my best, try to give out the emotion and the tension of the moment I was in," Barkai said.
"Me myself, I served the army, but I never really fought in big great wars, fortunately," he added.
This film hits close to home for most members of the cast.
"I myself was in the army. I was in the paratroopers. So I could give my input to the part and the movie but it was a more real than just a memory of Israel's history," actor Yishay Ben Moshe said.
Yishay Ben Moshe plays the 71st batallion commander Yoram Zamosh.
"The movie showed me that it's not like what we learned in school, where you learn the dates and what happened, but you don't live it," he said.
"The most memorable scene was with the actress who plays the woman that gives me the flag of Israel to put on the wall. It was a very emotional scene," Moshe said.
"I brought you a flag, this flag flew in the old city before we left in 1948, and when you get to the wall I want you to hang this flag ... of course, it will be our honor," the she says in the film.
Guiding these emotional scenes was the film's producer and director Erin Zimmerman.
"There are so many amazing human stories, I didn't want to do a dry documentary, you know, where you have old footage and you're saying this regimen moved here and this regimen moved here," Zimmerman said.
Although there is a lot of darkness within the film, there is also a light that bears through the challenges toward the end of the movie.
"It was intentional to end on a high note. But it was also my intention not to give an empty, 'hey, yeah, war, we won!' because there were so many casualties and so many injuries and people who both mentally and physically were never the same after that war," Zimmerman said.
The movie can be seen on the big screen for one day only, on May 23.
For more information you can visit, http://www.inourhands1967.com/