email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

IDFA 2020

Maya Zinshtein • Director of ’Til Kingdom Come

“I see my job as highlighting the dark side of the room"


- Cinema Femme talked to Israeli filmmaker and journalist Maya Zinshtein about what’s behind her documentary ’Til Kingdom Come

Maya Zinshtein  • Director of ’Til Kingdom Come
(© Tomer Appelbaum)

Some Evangelical Christians who take the Bible as literal believe that Israel is the last hope to our end of days, which is pulled out of Revelation. So much money is being directed to Israel based on this belief, and what from the outside can be seen as a positive form of unity and love, reveals itself to be a misguided political agenda that is being pushed by US president Donald Trump. With all of this money going towards Israel, Maya Zinshtein started her documentary ’Til Kingdom Come [+see also:
interview: Maya Zinshtein
film profile
, now set to play at IDFA, with the question, “why?” “Why do these Evangelical Christians ‘love’ us so much?”

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Cinema Femme: How did you come to this project?
Maya Zinshtein: I’m an Israeli, and I’m also a filmmaker and a journalist. I had been asked to look into some other project that Christian Evangelicals were just a part of it. I think many Israelis, and of course myself, are involved with the politics in Israel. This is what interests me. When I came across this phenomena of Evangelical Christians’ involvement in Israel, I started to look into it. This was in July 2017, and Trump was already the president. But that was before everything happened later that was shown in the film. 

I started to reach out to all the different organizations based here in Israel that were involved with Evangelical Christians. It was funny because one of the heads of these organizations told me, “Listen, if you’re patient, by the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020, you may see Trump recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”, and then it all happened in half a year.

It started with that, on a political level. It was clear to me that the way that I like to tell stories is like making a layered cake. When you cut it, you see all the layers. I wanted to start with these people that are Evangelical and very faith-driven. I heard about these churches all across the US that raise the Israeli flag and kids praying for Jerusalem before they are going to sleep. You need to understand for us, this is like, “what and why?”

What do you hope the viewer will take most from your documentary?
I think it depends on who is the viewer. My dream is that many Evangelical Christians will watch this film. I think a lot of their “love” is loving this ancient book. But we have a reality here in this country.

I’ll answer your question with a story. We were in a Christian Israeli summit, and I had a conversation with a few young members. I spoke with them after I saw them advocating for cutting the support for the Palestinian refugees, alongside the fact that these people need help. The Israeli community sees this advocacy as very dangerous. I told them, “Listen, my brother is in the reserve special forces. He will go on to fight the next war. Why do you think you can have an influence on my next war?” When you speak with some Americans, they will tell you Russians have a heavy influence on the United States government. My belief is that every single country has the right to decide on their own future. So I say to them, “You’re sitting there in Washington and you think you can influence my future. You’re not going to fight this war, my brother will.” And he just looked at me and said, “I never thought about it.”

Also, there is a Jewish community that is a huge audience for this film – I know there is a huge conversation going on about this. They’re thinking, “Should we cooperate with that, and how should we respond to that?” I see my job as highlighting the dark side of the room. I want to highlight this dark side, and hand it over, and say “Here, think about it.”

Any advice for emerging female filmmakers?
Find your allies. One of the producers of this film, who was also the DoP [Abraham (Abie) Troen] has been a great ally. I’m specifically using this word because if you want to start a project that doesn’t have any funding, you need to find someone as crazy as you, and as bold as you to discover with you, like in Middlesboro, Kentucky. It’s my second time learning this lesson, that’s really the key. And then you need to build your team, and have the best team that you can have. Finding these allies to be running with you, that’s something that is really crucial. You can’t make films alone.

Read the full interview here.

In collaboration with

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.

See also

Privacy Policy