Novelist/film critic Meyer Levin was one of the foremost proponents of the new state of Israel in 1948. To further the cause of a Jewish homeland, Levin produced, wrote and sometimes directed a group of docu-dramas on the subject, one of which was The Illegals. The film concentrates on a young Polish refugee couple who hope to start life anew in Palestine (this was before Israel was legally in existence). Driven out of their homeland by rampant anti-Semitism, the couple is willing to endure any and all misfortunes, discomforts, and dangers to journey to the Haifa region. The film ends suddenly, as British troops round up thousands of the refugees, detaining them indefinitely in Cyprus. The abruptness of this finale is Levin's unvarnished attack on the British, who were widely regarded as the villains in the Mid-East crisis of 1947-48.
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