Legend of the Destruction

What had initially started out as a Jewish revolt against the Roman occupation, quickly turned into a fierce civil war. The combination of religious messianic zeal and the friction between social classes proved disastrous and resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.


Director & Scriptwriter: Gidi Dar

Creators: David Polonsky & Michael Faust

Producers: Amir Harel & Ayelet Kait

In Particpation of: Channel 8 / The Jerusalem Film Fund


The Romans rule Judea with an iron fist and with the sophistication that befits an empire. They endear themselves to the wealthier layers of society and consequently corrupt them. Even the priests in charge of running the Temple and conducting the holy ceremonies have been touched by profound corruption.
The poverty and oppression of the Jewish masses on the other hand cause incitement, and many young men join secret groups of religious zealots, to become freedom fighters in the name of God. They do not only despise the Roman conquerors deeply, but they also loathe the wealthy Jews, who cooperate with the Romans in the oppression of their people. The tension is accumulating underground, until a small spark causes a full blown rebellion to erupt.
As the Roman war machine approaches Judea to suppress the rebellion, Jerusalem is torn by a bloody civil war: impoverished zealots are slaughtering the aristocracy relentlessly, and a zealous reign of terror rules the city. Heavy street battles are conducted by rival zealot gangs, and one of the fights ends with the intent burning of Jerusalem's food silos. A terrible famine breaks out. Gangs roam the city robbing the starving inhabitants of their last crumbs of bread.  Life in Jerusalem is a virtual hell.
Only when the enormous Roman army encircles the city walls, do the Jewish zealots finally unite against their common enemy. Their ostensive impossible situation transcends them into a profound spiritual state, and they lose all fear of dying. They attack the Romans with daring suicide attacks. For a brief moment it seems that the Romans lose their equilibrium, and the Jews have the upper hand, but soon the Romans recover, breeching the city walls, slaughtering thousands and destroying the Holy Temple, leaving no stone standing.
The movie tells the story of the destruction through the eyes of six characters, whose narrative complete one another's, while at times, they contradict.