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On today’s episode, Ari spoke with American Jewish University resident scholar Rick Richman about the land, people and polity of Israel in Hollywood’s imagination. What does Hollywood storytelling about Israel—from Exodus in 1960, to Top Gun: Maverick in 2022—tell us about America’s perspective on the Holy Land, and perhaps more strikingly, America’s perspective on itself. In a wide-ranging discussion, Ari and Rick talked about Exodus (1960); Munich (2005); Top Gun: Maverick (2022); Dara Horn’s “People Love Dead Jews”; Brooklyn-based Judaism in American cinema; the effect of American racial discourse on its view of the Near East; Montesquieu’s “Persian Letters”; the spouses of great political leaders; and much more!

Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop