Israeli director Amos Gitai's startling new film about the difficult birth of the state of Israel opens with faint hope for a desperate people, and ends with a howl of mad despair. The year is 1948, and the freighter Kedma
is slowly making its way across the Mediterranean. Packed on board are several hundred exhausted Holocaust survivors, now drifting like Europe's unwanted flotsam toward the one place that might finally offer them a safe haven: Palestine, which is only days away from being divided into a Jewish homeland. Waiting for them on shore, however, is a garrison of British soldiers prepared to arrest the illegal immigrants the minute they step ashore....