Bourekas Israeli Movies

Bourekas Movies (בורקס ) were popular in the 1970’s in Israel.  They were melodramatic movies often depicting the struggle of Sephardi (ספרדי) Jews against the dominant Ashkenazim, (אשקנזים)  who were the land owners, businessmen and politicians. ( פוליטיקאי)

Why was the Bourekas Genre so popular?

The main character who the viewer identified with was a Sephardi Jew, who was not as well educated and lived in a poor neighborhood. The movies often showed the Sephardi, who was street smart in conflict with the Ashkenazi. The actors often imitated different Hebrew accents, (מיבטא) and used slapstick humor, alternative identities and comedy. Many movie goers were Sephardi, so they identified with the social situation depicted in the films.

Why was the term Bourekas Movies applied to these films? (סרטים)

The term Bourekas Movies was a spin off from the Spaghetti Westerns that were being make in Italy, set in the Western United States.  The name caught on, so these movies became quite popular  ( פופולארי ) during the tense time period in Israel.

What are Bourekas?

Bourekas are a pastry that is unique to the Middle East, with salty dough, folded over a filling, often potato, mushroom, cheese or as a dessert with chocolate.  These films are like bourekas because the Sephardi character on the outside may be crusty, but in the inside, once you get to know them they are a delight.

Famous Bourekas Movies Directors and Actors

Boaz Davidson was the first to call these types of movies Bourekas, and he made many movies in the genre (סגנון) notabley Charlie VHetzi (צרלי וחצי)  a comedy.

Ze’ev Revach was an actor and director who made some of the most famous movies, and many others.  He was most identified with the genre until the end of the 1980’s when they lost popularity.

Yosef Shiloach – played in many Bourekas films, as well as in Hollywood.  He is most identified with the character “The Persian” where he used a Persian accent.

One actor who went on to politics is Yoharam Goan, who was popular in these films, he was elected as a Jerusalem City councilman.

These films were very popular in the 1970’s until the 1980’s where more political films became the rage.  Some of these films are still being shown as “cult” films.  So don’t miss these gems when you go to the movies! (קולנוע)

Vocabulary of Bourekas Israeli Movies










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