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Freedom Fighters of NILI

Israel, World Affairs, Jewish Film, War
Leora Chai
76 minutes


Release year: 2012
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Documentary



The Freedom Fighters of NILI is a documentary film about the heroic efforts of the Aaronsohns and the NILI spy network, which assisted the British in its fight against the Ottoman Empire in Palestine during World War I. Nili (Hebrew language) an acronym from (I Samuel 15:29; transliteration: Netzakh Yisrael Lo Yishaker, literal translation: "The Eternity of Israel will not lie").



Leora Chai

Born in Afula, Israel. Leora grew up in Israel and the United States, and is bilingual. She began making short films in high school and has been working in the film industry for the past 10 years. After graduating from Full Sail University's Film Production Program, she briefly lived in Los Angeles, where she worked on several independent films and TV award shows in the production department. She founded the Tambay Film Festival in 2001 in Tampa, Florida. Leora has directed, produced and wrote Walk of Legends, a feature documentary candidly portraying the history of stock car racing in the United States. It was her first endeavor as a producer and director. She directed, produced and wrote the award winning independent narrative feature film, Speedland, which has been screened at film festivals in the United States. She has worked, in production, on several big- budget films including, Talladega Nights with Will Ferrell. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Charlotte with a BA in Communication and an MA in Teaching from USF. Currently, she resides in Tampa, FL.

Filmmaker Statement

When I was growing up in Israel in the 1980s, the story of the Nili spies was required school reading, but unlike most assignments, this was a gripping, tension filled, history lesson which held me in thrall. I was captivated by the bravery of a brother and sister who risked their lives for love of country. I was inspired and intrigued to learn whatever I could. Over the years I have read a number of books about the Aaronsohns, and I traveled numerous times to Israel to research the archives at the Aaronsohn museum.
The extraordinary leadership and exploits of the Aaronsohns and their pro British spy ring (NILI) which operated in Palestine (then under Turkish rule) during World War I is the stuff of big screen drama. Theirs is a story which begs to be captured on film and I feel privileged to be involved in seeing that it does so.

Leora Chai
Producer/Director Freedom Fighters of Nili

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