Masada or Yavneh?

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CEDAR: When you compare the rebels on Masada to the wise men in Yavneh, the rebels died as lions, and the wise men lived as dogs . But the dogs had puppies, and we are those puppies. So, there was something about blowing up Beaufort, blowing up the fortifications, blowing up the mountain, at the end of the film, that was also about blowing up a symbol of (the lion’s) power. It’s about our power to create something else that, at least for me, makes us different from our enemies.

ZEEK: It means that as Israelis, we can start over. That we have the ability to reinvent ourselves.

CEDAR: Not only that. It means that we have an identity without the geographical symbol, that we have an identity that is as powerful and as firm as concrete and fortifications, flags and pride.

To read the rest of my interview with director Joseph Cedar, check out the new issue of Zeek.