Filming in Yodefat, Israel

The village of Yodefat (ancient Jotbah, Jotapata) is located in the Galilee, about 20km south of Akko under the north side of Mount Azmon. It is a well hidden gem, which is not frequently visited by tourists and filmmakers as it is not an official national park, yet it is a place of astounding beauty.

The town played a part in the Jewish uprising of 66 – 70 A.D., which Flavius Josephus relates to in the two chapters of the Jewish War. The town was only accessible from its northern side, making it a suitable location for a fortress. A large party of Jewish rebels withdrew here in 67 A.D. under the leadership of a young priest from Jerusalem, Joseph Mattathias, who defended Yodefat so successfully against the Romans that Roman leader Vespasian ordered double rings of troops around the town. Similarly to Masada, the Romans attacked from the north by building a ramp. The rebels increased the height of the wall but eventually ran out of water and supplies. Many of the rebels were slaughtered and about 1,200 of them were taken prisoners. Joseph’s life was spared, and he had to oblige to serve the Roman conqueror Titus as an emperor. He witnessed the conquest of Jerusalem and took on the name Flavius Josephus under which he is now known. His writings about the Jewish Wars and Jewish Antiquities are now amongst the most important writings dating back to that time period.

The remains of its ancient town can be accessed by an entrance next to Moshav Yodefat. The site surprises its visitors with beautiful old trees and an old cave that plays an important part in the history of the town. It is a beautiful location to film biblical scenes and to revive the life of the first century under Roman oppression in the Holy Land. It provides a very rural feeling and a wonderful setting for sit-down interviews and walks & talks with contributors.

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