Tel Aviv (Jan. 7)
Israel Television last night began screening its most ambitious production to date–a 19-part series on the history of Zionism, entitled “Pillar of Fire.” The series took nearly two years to produce and cost over $1 million.
The series got off to a difficult start even before the first segment was shown. Representatives of the Sephardic communities appealed to the Supreme Court but failed in their bid, to have the showing halted because they claimed, even before seeing it, that the series did not do sufficient justice to the part played by Jews from oriental countries in the birth and development of Zionism.
The producers, through intensive efforts, managed to uncover hitherto-forgotten pictures and films of the early days of the Zionist movement. The series is to be repeated each week in the afternoons, for viewing by children. The first segment, shown last night, was generally well received by viewers impressed by film scenes of the 1880-1917 period.