Ha-derech L'Ein Harod (aka Back to Freedom) (1990) from ICMS

I wrote these lines 4 years ago:
 

"First I have seen a picture of a stark naked Alessandra Mussolini in Novella 2000. I found the picture while going through my archives. It shows the Duce's granddaughter stark naked in a 1990 American-Israeli movie called "Back to freedom / Ha-derech L'Ein Harod". She's naked under a waterfall with Tony Peck.

She tried to have this scene cut at a 1998 film festival but the producer left the scene in saying that he used a body-double. She claimed that it made her feel hurt as a wife, a mother and a member of parliament (for the extreme right-wing party Alleanza nazionale ). So we now have a producer stating that this is a body double on one side and on the other side we have a former actress saying it was her. I don't think it's a double unless she has a twin sister no one ever heard of."

 
Well, I was finally able to find this film on DVD. It's available in an all-regions PAL version from Amazon Germany and its title is Phantom Fighters. Unfortunately, it's a full-screen version with German audio only. There is also an English version with Portuguese subtitles available from www.vsom.com on DVD-R but the master of the DVD-R version is a videotape, and although the transfer isn't bad, it doesn't even approach the image quality of the German DVD. Due to a mix-up in the IMDb, which I undertook to correct, I ended up buying both versions. You see, this flick has several titles. "Ha-derech L'Ein Harod" is the Hebrew title with "Freedom - The Voice of Ein Harod" as its English counterpart. "Phantom Fighters" was listed as an other entry but is in fact simply the German video title of the same movie. And I only noticed after I already bought them both ...
 
The film itself is really nothing to write home about. At some time in Israel during a severe drought the army has taken over the country and keeps almost every one under its thumb by allowing people only very small rations of water. Tony Peck is a left-wing journalist who doesn't approve and undertakes to join The Voice of Ein Harod, a clandestine anti-army radio station in the north that urges people to join them. What follows is sort of a boring odyssey to Ein Harod through what must be the ugliest places in Israel, during which our "hero" meets Israeli soldier Liora, played by Alessandra Mussolini, who is very friendly towards men. In the end they reach Ein Harod but this proves a major disappointment for them.

The plot is very thin, the actions are illogical and soon all becomes misconstrued. The photography could have been much sharper, and the locations are among the ugliest ever put on film. Tony Peck, the son of screen legend Gregory Peck, proves that acting skills aren't necessarily passed on genetically, and the other actors aren't any better. They all seem to be wondering what they are doing in a stinker like this. This flick is just boring from beginning to end.

Even Alessandra's nude scene cannot change that.

NUDITY REPORT

  • Alessandra Mussolini shows all in the waterfall scene.
  • Elky Jacobs shows breasts and partial buns as a sex-starved housewife who gets her comeuppance when she forces herself upon Tony Peck.
  • and an unknown actress is topless lying on a table, playing a female Israeli soldier who serves as a mattress for her male colleagues.

DVD info from Amazon Germany

  • no widescreen

  • German audio only, no subtitles available

  • will play in all regions, but (warning) it is in PAL format, so if you're in North America you can play it on a computer with a DVD drive, but not on your TV

It is very clear to anyone who views the film that no body double could have been used for that nude scene, certainly if you compare the woman in this scene with pictures of her in Celebrity Sleuth Vol. 4, no. 7 and Vol. 8, no. 8. When you look at pictures of her grandfather Benito you can also see the resemblance. In this case the genes were undoubtedly passed on.
 
Since my October 2000 report Alessandra Mussolini has left the extreme right-wing party Alleanza Nazionale because she no longer considers them far enough to the right. She has founded her own party LibertÓ di Azione (www.libertadiazione.net), in which her platform includes a defense of family values and opposition to Turkey entering the EU.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No reviews online.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. Not enough IMDB voters for a meaningful score.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a E. Terrible movie, memorable only because a very famous right-wing member of the Italian Parliament got naked.

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