THROUGH THE LENS of sports, “On The Map” presents the story of how one basketball team captured the heart of a nation amidst domestic turmoil and the global machinations of the Cold War. The film was written, directed, and produced by Dani Menkin. The Central New Jersey premier will take place Sunday, May 21, at 5 p.m. at West Windsor High School.
Combining the pulse-pounding action of a high-stakes thriller with an incendiary political backdrop, “On The Map” tells the story of Maccabi Tel Aviv’s 1977 European Championship, which took place at a time when the Middle East was still reeling from the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1972 Olympic massacre at Munich, and the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight from Tel Aviv.
Told through the eyes of six American basketball players who joined Maccabi Tel Aviv, “On The Map” features interviews with basketball icon Bill Walton and former NBA Commissioner David Stern. The film recounts how an underdog Israeli basketball team prevailed over a series of European basketball powers, including CSKA Moscow, a team that repeatedly refused to compete against Israelis.
Also featured in the film is Trenton native Tal Brody, who was appointed ambassador of goodwill for the State of Israel. In the 1970s Brody, an American basketball player, gave up an NBA career to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv. In 1977 he led the team to the European Cup Basketball Championship. After his team defeated the heavily favored Soviet Red Army team, CSKA Moscow, Brody’s famous remark — “We are on the map! And, we are staying on the map — not only in sports, but in everything” — became an indelible part of Israeli culture.
“On The Map” has received numerous audience awards for best documentary from the 2016 Rutgers Jewish Film Festival, Boston Jewish Film Festival, and Berkshire Jewish Film Festival.
Tickets are available at jewishpmb.org/otm. Contact 609-524-9910.