Israel’s 1948 War of Independence has been well-documented in textbooks and feature films over the years, but one aspect of that war had yet to be uncovered. Until now. Director Roberta Grossman and Producer Nancy Spielberg (yep, that Spielberg) teamed up to create Above and Beyond, the story of a group of Jewish-Americans who risked their lives to support Israel’s fight for freedom.
The documentary sits down with the core group of men who comprised 90% of the Israeli air service, though none of them was actually from the country. Rather, they were the Machal, or “volunteers from abroad” who left their established lives in America to support their Jewish brothers in Israel the best way they thought possible. One such member of this band of brothers, Al Schwimmer, used his flight engineer expertise and WWII air transport experience to smuggle aircrafts and pilots into Israel. Upon reading about his death in the New York Times, Spielberg felt the need to tell his (and so many others’) story.
The documentary gives an account of a rarely-mentioned part of Israeli Air Force history — the foreign men who assisted in its creation — and the airmen give detailed accounts of how, through perseverance, they helped secure Israel’s independence.
We are thrilled to announce that we’ll be releasing the film to all North American audiences beginning this Friday, January 30th! Check out more press coverage from Variety, and watch the trailer below: