ON THE MAP. As written and directed by Dani Menkin (who gave us the wonderful Dolphin Boy, as well as the more recent and not-so-hot narrative film, Is That You?), this sprightly, enthusiastic movie introduces us to a certain Maccabi team from Tel Aviv that made sports and Israeli history back in 1977 by putting Israel, as its captain tell us, "On the map--not just in sports but in everything!"
Jim Boatwright, is now dead, but his ex-wife makes a fine substitute -- funny, appealing and moving, as she tells us of those days and times and what it all meant to her husband.
Tal Brody (below), whom we see in action on and off the court. We also hear from Brody's friend and co-player (some decades back), Bill Walton, who clearly is still moved and amazed by what these Maccabis did. Hearing Walton talk about all this is one of the documentary's highlights.
Aulcie Perry (below, center), and learn how a plate full of cakes determined his fate with the team, and how and why he later converted to Judaism.
Moshe Dayan (above, right) congratulates the team, as well as when Prime Minister Rabin resigns from office on the very day of one of the team's most important games. The anecdotes here are well-chosen, pointed and entertaining -- adding up to a first-class documentary that will have you on the edge of your seat, cheering, holding your breath, and finally maybe shedding a tear or two.
Hey Jude Productions and running just 85 minutes, On The Map opens in Los Angeles this coming Friday, November 25, at Laemmle's Royal and in New York City on December 9 at the Cinema Village. Click here, then click on SCREENINGS, to see all currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters. There will be personal appearances in Los Angeles and perhaps elsewhere, too. Check the theaters' listings for dates and times.