Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force

Poster for Above and Beyond: The Birth of the Israeli Air Force In 1948, a group of World War II pilots volunteered to fight for Israel in the War of Independence. As members of “Machal” – volunteers from abroad – this ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war, preventing the possible annihilation of Israel at the very moment of its birth; they also laid the groundwork for the Israeli Air Force. Above and Beyond is their story.

89 minutes
Roberta Grossman

Shown at

  1. 10th Annual Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival - 2016
  2. 12th Annual JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  3. 12th Annual Ventura County Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  4. 12th Israeli Film Festival (Canadian Film Institute) - 2015
  5. 13th Annual Ruth and Bernard Friedman Windsor Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  6. 14th Annual Barshop JCC Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  7. 14th Annual Beth Tzedec Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  8. 14th Annual Jewish Omaha Film Festival - 2015
  9. 14th Annual Temple Emanu-El Kirk Cashmere Jewish Film Festival - 2016
  10. 15th Annual Rutgers Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  11. 17th Annual Jewish Film Festival of Grand Rapids - 2015
  12. 17th Annual Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival (Detroit) - 2015
  13. 18th CAJE Miami Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  14. 18º Festival de Cinema Judaico de Sao Paulo - 2014
  15. 19th Annual Hartford Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  16. 19th Denver Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  17. 20th Annual East Bay Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  18. 20th Annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  19. 21st Annual International Jewish Film Festival (Eastern Connecticut) - 2015
  20. 21st Annual Jewish and Israeli Film Festival (Allentown) - 2016
  21. 23rd Toronto Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  22. 25th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  23. 25th Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  24. 25th Washington Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  25. 30th Annual Buffalo International Jewish Film - 2015
  26. 7th Annual Sioux City Jewish Film Festival - 2016
  27. Altoona Jewish Film Festival - 2016
  28. Ames-Azalak Rochester Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  29. Annual Northern Virginia International Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  30. Asheville Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  31. Athens Jewish Film Festival - 2016
  32. Atlanta Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  33. Atlantic Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  34. Baltimore Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  35. Berkshire Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  36. Boston Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  37. Boulder Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  38. Carmel Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  39. Central Massachusetts Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  40. Charlotte Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  41. Cincinnati Jewish & Israeli Film Festival - 2015
  42. Cincinnati Jewish & Israeli Film Festival - Summer Cinema Series - 2015
  43. Columbia Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  44. Columbia Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  45. Columbus Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  46. Dayton Jewish International Film Festival - 2015
  47. Edmonton Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  48. Falmouth Jewish Congregation Summer Jewish Film Series - 2015
  49. Fresno Jewish Film Series - 2015
  50. Geneva International Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  51. Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  52. Houston Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  53. Indianapolis Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  54. Israel Film Festival Los Angeles - 2014
  55. Israeli Film Festival at the Weinstein JCC - 2016
  56. JCMI Film Festival - 2015
  57. JFilm Festival (Pittsburgh) - 2015
  58. Kansas City Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  59. Maine Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  60. Michiana Jewish Film Festival - 2016
  61. Mobile Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  62. Naples Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  63. Nashville Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  64. New Jersey Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  65. New York Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  66. Randi & Bruce Pergament Fall Mini Film Festival - 2015
  67. Randi & Bruce Pergament Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  68. Rehoboth Beach Jewish Film Festival - 2016
  69. San Francisco Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  70. San Luis Obispo Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  71. Savannah Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  72. Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  73. Spokane Jewish Cultural Film Festival - 2015
  74. St. Louis Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  75. Suffolk Y JCC Israeli Coffee House and Films - 2016
  76. Treasure Coast Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  77. Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  78. Vancouver Jewish Film Festival - 2014
  79. Virginia Festival of Jewish Film - 2015
  80. Westchester Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  81. White Mountain Jewish Film Festival - 2016
  82. Wilmington Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  83. Winnipeg International Jewish Film Festival - 2015
  84. Youngstown Area Jewish Film Festival - 2015

27 Responses

  1. jewishfilmfests says:

    JPOst: Haninah Brown: Nancy Spielberg soars into Jerusalem with her IAF film ‘Above and Beyond’
    “If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to interview rock stars right after a concert, try getting a word with Nancy Spielberg, the producer of Above and Beyond, the true story of the heroic American volunteers who started the Israel Air Force, and Lou Lenart, one of these pilots, after a screening at the Jerusalem Film Festival.”

  2. jewishfilmfests says:

    DOC NYC Women Directors & Producers: Meet Roberta Grossman and Nancy Spielberg – ‘Above and Beyond’
    Roberta Grossman (Above and Beyond’s director) is an award-winning filmmaker with a passion for history and social justice. She has written and produced more than forty hours of documentary film and television. Her most recent film, Hava Nagila (The Movie), was the opening or closing night film at 46 of the 80 film festivals where it screened, had a theatrical release in 2013, and is now available on Netflix. Grossman’s previous film, Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, won the audience award at 13 film festivals, was broadcast on PBS, and nominated for a Primetime Emmy.

  3. jewishfilmfests says:

    Film Review: ‘Above and Beyond’
    A gung-ho celebration of the overnight creation of the Israeli Air Force by a handful of American G.I.’s, “Above and Beyond” boasts a helluva story, a cast of still-feisty nonagenarian flyboys, and state-of-the-art combat “reconstructions” by Industrial Light and Magic (working gratis). Director Roberta Grossman and producer Nancy Spielberg’s documentary soars when buoyed by the subjective recollections of its expertly interviewed pilots. When venturing into historical “objectivity,” however, the film veers toward oversimplified selectivity, too intent on its feel-good, back-patting agenda. Nevertheless, recasting Israel’s survival as a victory for American chutzpah may widen the film’s appeal beyond target auds.


  4. Gloria Gandara says:

    I am interested in purchasing a DVD of the Above and Beyond movie produced in 2014 by Nancy Spielberg and directed by Roberta Grossman. I have been browsing the Internet but cannot find an option to purchase this version. Please advise me on how to accomplish this task. I am trying to purchase a copy as a gift for a friend who is a retired military and retired commercial pilot.
    Thank you.
    Gloria Gandara

    • jewishfilmfests says:

      Dear Ms. Gandara,

      A DVD is not available for this movei as it is still playing at various festivals. I suspect within a year or two it will become available. Meanwhile I recommend to check on the official website for availability: http://aboveandbeyondthemovie.com/

    • MARTHA KILLEEN says:

      I, too, am interested in procurring this film for my mother, age 97, and for my family. My uncle, Capt. Bill Katz, also flew with MIchal and was a part of this crew.

  5. Joshua Rettig says:

    Would. Like to purchase copy of film

  6. Alan Gonczar says:

    Could you please tell me where I could get a copy of Above And Beyond.

    Kind Regards


    • jewishfilmfests says:

      Dear Mr. Gonczar

      A DVD is not available for this movie as it is still playing at various festivals. I suspect within a year or two it will become available. Meanwhile I recommend to check on the official website for availability: http://aboveandbeyondthemovie.com/

  7. jewishfilmfests says:

    The movie is available now on ITunes and the DVD will come out in October. Further information:

  8. Susan Lipson says:

    Please notify me of any new posts and follow-up comments by email. Thank You.
    Susan L.

    • jewishfilmfests says:

      If you checked the checkboxes below the comment box (labelled “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.” and “Notify me of new posts by email.” you will receive updates. Otherwise please levae another comment and this time check those boxes. Thank you for your interest.

  9. Larry says:

    Wonderful! Exciting! Emotional! and true! Netflix has the full length film available for streaming.

  10. jewishfilmfests says:

    Above and Beyond pays well-deserved homage to these men who helped create the Israeli Air Force and ensured the survival of the burgeoning nation. It’s a wonder that it took nearly seven decades for the story to be recounted in feature documentary form.

  11. jewishfilmfests says:

    Much of this history is grim, but the pilots are so exuberant that the film lands as light on its feet as Grossman’s enjoyably frivolous last outing, Hava Nagila.

  12. jewishfilmfests says:

    The film raises some interesting questions about being Jewish at a time when anti-Semitism was prevalent in the U.S. For some of the men, it was the first time they felt closely connected to their heritage.

  13. jewishfilmfests says:

    Grossman may channel the loose, adrenaline-fueled lives of pilots, but the film’s inconsistent, often impassive study of this intriguing real-life adventure feels half-told.

  14. jewishfilmfests says:

    Impressive CGI combat reenactments supplement the evocative archival material, and scholars provide background commentary. But it’s the pilots themselves, recalling the danger and thrill of the undertaking nearly 70 years later, who drive the narrative. The twinkle in their eyes is unmistakable as they describe rambunctious younger days.

  15. jewishfilmfests says:

    Inspiring doc tells story of US WWII pilots fighting for Israel

    Though somewhat marred by cheesy docudrama re-enactments, the film (produced by Steven Spielberg’s sister Nancy) is nutty, dramatic, surprising and above all inspiring.


  16. jewishfilmfests says:

    These fond recollections of derring-do hail from a different era, and the movie’s one-sided view of history is bound to start arguments. The film is best appreciated as a straightforward testimonial: old war buddies’ hurrah against anti-Semitism.

  17. ilana shor says:

    hi. my father was one of the men ftom machal. Moshe Yaari. i believe he was the only israeli born, american citizen. was in the american army for 5 years in the airforce. trained navigators and pilots all over the united states. i wad born on Vincense Indiana. Near an Army Base.1945. he made a video of his life story. Did you use it? he died in abt 2008. steven spielberg new about him.Nancy mentioned thay a few yeats begore he wanted to make a movie about the israrli airforce. My father was on the plane that bomed Damascus. please be in toucj. ilana.yaarishor@gmail.com

  18. jewishfilmfests says:

    Magen David Sephardic Congregation
    with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Embassy of Israel
    present the screening of the film


    Opening Remarks by Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček
    and Israeli Deputy Chief of Mission Reuven Azar

    Tuesday, April 10th, at 7:30PM


For information about this film, including how to get a copy of it, please click the DVD, Instant Video, IMDB or website link above.
(This site is not affiliated with the film.)

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