Six Days



Seventh Art

NEW YORK -- Although lacking the distinctiveness or style that would normally warrant a theatrical release, Ilan Ziv's well-timed (40th anniversary) documentary about the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict is a quality piece of nonfiction cinema.

This straightforward, informative, well-balanced history, which recently received its theatrical premiere at New York's Quad Cinema, should have a very long life on the appropriate cable television channels.

The limited duration of the war and the many colorful personalities prominent in it provide this film with a naturally compelling canvas. Using a mixture of archival footage, limited dramatic re-creations and interviews with various political and military figures involved as well as Israeli soldiers who fought on the front lines, the film well conveys the gamesmanship that occurred among Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol as well as military leaders like Moshe Dayan.

Although the filmmaker is an Israeli, "Six Days" never gives off a partisan air. Indeed, it goes out of its way to provide an even-handed approach, exploring among other things the ultimately problematic ramifications of Israel's reclaiming of the entire city of Jerusalem. As it ultimately makes clear in vivid fashion, this brief war would change the political landscape of the Middle East for generations to follow.