First Audio Prayer Film – Land of Promise – לחיים חדשים
This film is the first audio version of prayer at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. It is a chapter of the original film “Land of Promise”(in English). This new version of the chapter, by Yaacov Gross – יעקב גרוס, has Hebrew sub-titles. The original film was created by Keren haYesod – United Israel Appeal and its chairman, Leo Herman in 1934 and screened in 1935 in Zion Theater in Jerusalem and Migdalor Theater in Tel Aviv. All rights of the original movie belong to the Spielberg Archives. The most moving segments of the movie was the Sefaradi prayer at the Wailing Wall and the song “Shir HaEmek” and other songs by Natan Alterman.
An awe-inspiring rendering of one of the most iconic architectural sites of the Holy Land, Bauernfeind’s painting of the Wailing Wall belongs to a series of large-scale oils of the same subject that form the artistic centrepiece of his oeuvre. The artist has drawn upon his fastidious talent as a realist painter, and his first hand observations of Middle Eastern culture, in order to present an image that is historically and archaeologically accurate in execution, and appropriately reverential in tone. It represents the apogee of his understanding of eastern culture. The present work addresses the solemnity of prayer as well as the timelessness of the Wailing Wall, and its continuity with the past. Indeed, the 2000 year old wall which takes up the majority of the canvas is itself a testament to the endurance of religion. Bauernfeind gives the Wall, rather than the worshippers, prominence in his composition. The Wall is bathed in a luminescent, almost supernatural light, adding to the feeling of holiness of the site, and also allowing Bauernfeind to demonstrate his virtuoso ability to paint the changes in texture and subtleties of light across its surface.