Perspective is the best commodity when telling a story. One person who gets it is Ron Leshem.
The Academy Award-nominated writer who produced "Prisoners of War," the Israeli series that Showtime's "Homeland" is based on, will talk about what the Israeli TV industry reveals about its culture in a special presentation at 7 p.m. on Jan. 30 at the UW-Milwaukee Golda Meir Library.
The speaking event is sponsored by the Israel Center and Jewish Community Relations Council of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and The Sam and Helen Stahl Center for Jewish Studies at UWM. The federation is putting on a number of community programs this year as part of its ongoing Israel@65 activities sponsored by the Israel Center to celebrate 65 years of Israeli independence, and the Stahl Centerâ€™s 2013-14 series, "Art & Conflict: Ashkenaz and Beyond."
Leshemâ€™s first novel "Beaufort" is a gritty tale, told in a dairy style of a commander stationed at "Beaufort" in the last winter of Israeli occupation.
"Evocative, heartbreaking, and haunting â€¦ Leshemâ€™s novel captures the soldiersâ€™ pathos and the claustrophobia of an isolated outpost," the Dallas Morning News wrote about the book. "As they approach withdrawal and the planned demolition of Beaufort, these emotions build to a shattering climax."
In 2009, Leshem wrote "Noloofar," a coming of age story of Kami, a young man who abandons the city of his youth for the bright lights of Teheran, where he falls in love with a race car driver. Their love leads him to underground parties, forbidden drugs, music and desire.
Leshem is a native of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv. "Beaufort" won the Sapir Prize â€“ Israelâ€™s top literary award â€“ for 2006, as well as the Yitzhak Sadeh Prize for military literature.
From 1998 to 2002 Leshem served on the editorial board of Yediot Ahronot newspaper, according to his bio. In 2002 he became deputy editor of Maariv newspaper and in 2006 joined the Channel Two television station as deputy director in charge of programming and special projects.
The film version of "Beaufort" won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival 2007. Lesham is now developing adaptations for his own shows for NBC Universal.
The work in film, television and newspapers will provide a solid foundation for Leshem to talk about.
More on the free presentation and other Israel@65 activities can be found on MilwaukeeJewish.org.
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