ON THE MAP tells the against-all-odds 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. Through the lens of sports, ON THE MAP presents a much broader story of how one team captured the heart of a nation amidst domestic turmoil and the global machinations of the Cold War.
The film recounts how an underdog Israeli basketball team prevailed over a series of European basketball powers, including CSKA Moscow (known in the West as “Red Army”), a team that repeatedly refused to compete against Israeli competitors. Moments after this highly charged and historic win, Israeli-American basketball hero Tal Brody became an indelible part of a young country’s history when he famously said, “Israel is ON THE MAP, not just in sport, but in everything.”
Told through the eyes of six American basketball players who joined Maccabi and helped the club defeat top teams from Spain, Italy and the Soviet Union, the film features interviews with basketball icon Bill Walton (who had a unique personal connection to Brody) and former NBA Commissioner David Stern. ON THE MAP combines the pulse-pounding action of a high-stakes thriller with an incendiary political backdrop to deliver a film that will mesmerize basketball fans and captures the spirit of a nation triumphant against all odds.
ON THE MAP also features incisive interviews with, among others, Michael Oren, Israel’s former Ambassador to the United States, and Natan Sharansky, a notable Israeli politician who spent years imprisoned in Soviet jails.
Israeli-American basketball hero Tal Brody and the film’s director Dani Menkin will participate in a Q&A following the screening.