The beginnings of technology that progressed into cinema started with the invention of the Thaumatrope - The earliest version of an optical illusion toy , The Bird in a Cage, by Dr. John Ayrton in 1824.  The Bird in a Cage  was a small circular disk of paper, a bird was drawn on one side, and the cage on the other. This was suspended between two pieces of string. When the disk twirled, the viewer saw a bird in a cage.

Now we have a new design of a Thaumatrope

When the disk is twirled, the viewer sees the flag of Israel.

Please click the picture to see the


Aran Patinkin


Shir & Zeev Barkan Producers
Abe Doron, the legendary River Dance drummer







The film is intended to show that Zionism is not self evident: it is composed of complementary parts that make sense only when they work together.

Best viewed with Microsoft Windows Media Player 9. Earlier versions have to be upgraded in order to watch the film.


That's a cute piece, nice job. I'm often much more impressed by people that can get an idea across simply than by those that create a much more complex piece that often misses its point by trying to be profound. That's why children are brilliant...they just call it like they see it.  Anyway, it looks like you guys are up to a lot of good stuff over there.

Tarah Feinberg


Very nice.
Bradford N. Hammer
Shalom TV, Inc.
It is great! Could not see it at the first Internet Cafe I use, but went to another to view it - impressive!

Michael Levitt


thanks for the link - We will post your link on our site

Susan and David Suna



The Israeli flag

On the winter of 2005 I invented "the Israeli flag thaumatrope game".

It all began about a year ago when my son Shir and I saw a film called Sleepy Hollow with the actor Johnny Depp. In the film there is a scene in which Johnny is a baby and his mother shows him a thaumatrope, a paper disk which has a bird on one side and a cage on the other and when his mother twirls it on a string Johnny Depp sees the bird inside the cage. Immediately after the film I told Shir that we have to find out who makes thaumatropes and to import them.

A year passed by and one day Shir asked me if I can think of a product to import. I described him the thaumatrope that we saw on the film, but I forgot the name "thaumatrope" and the name of the film. Shir remembered the name of the film and borrowed a copy of the film from the neighborhood video store. We saw the scene of the thaumatrope frame by frame dozen times. Then I looked it up on the Internet and found the name "thaumatrope" and the instructions how to build it. The next week Shir and I were busy making all kinds of thaumatropes: clowns with hats, puppies in a frame of a television, and a six pointed star. This last design was original and I thought it captures the essence of Zionism, which is composed of complementary parts that make sense only when they work together; parts like people and country, vision and fulfillment, center and Diaspora.

When the flag was ready Shir was not sure if it would sell. A friend of us who is a  sculptor thought maybe if we make a three-dimensional weathercock flag people will put it on their cars on Independence Day. Everybody knows that on Independence Day flag makers are making a fortune. So we talked a lot about how such a flag could look, but eventually we had no idea how to make it.

When we had the first Israeli flag thaumatrope in our hands I came up with a new idea: let's make a film, a very short film, to promote the product, and put it on our website so that we could refer potential clients to our domain. Shir and Aran agreed to make the film and in two days it was all over, with music and all. I was very proud in my first film and so was Shir. It came out better than we thought because the flag was twirling with a wild drum beat on the background and the total effect was just funny.

Making the thaumatrope was easy: we designed it on our computer, took it to a printing shop and made a few thousand flags. Then we had to make two holes on each flag, to put a string in each hole, and to tie the string. We succeeded to make only 100 cards in an hour, but when a salesman came with an offer to sell two hundred thousand flags to the Israeli national flight company we understood that without a machine it will be impossible to fulfill this order. So we went, Shir and I, to an efficiency consultant laboratory.

At the beginning of our meeting I showed the consultant  the thaumatrope film. He had no loudspeakers so half of the effect of the film was lost, but he couldn't stop twirling the flag in his hands. "By the way, it is an amazing coincidence but I have on my desk a three-dimensional weathercock Israeli flag" he said.

-"really", Asked Shir ardently?

The consultant went to his desk and brought us the flag. He twirled it and we so clearly the six pointed blue star. It was so exciting we couldn't speak. What are the odds to find such a new invention? Even if you go to all the efficiency consultants in the world it is unimaginable that you will find what you are looking for. Anyhow the consultant  suggested we go to a patent office to ask if we violate anybody's rights. Before we left the laboratory he told us: "I'm sure this flag will sell millions".

Then we went to a patent office and met a religious tall clerk. The clerk couldn't stop twirling the flag throughout the whole meeting. He said there is no violation of any rights because we didn't copy our design from anybody - we've invented a new design based on the invention of the thaumatrope in 1824 and nobody has patent rights on the thaumatrope. We told him that the Israeli national flight company is interested to buy two hundred thousand flags from us.

"Can I ask you a personal favor?" asked the clerk.

-"of course"

My brother is a manager in Lufthansa air flight company; can I show him the flag?

-"of course"

"By the way, concluded the clerk, "I'm sure this flag will sell millions".

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