One of Israel’s most celebrated non-fiction filmmakers, Avi Mograbi (b. 1956) specializes in urgent, impassioned diagnoses on the state of the nation, and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. Mograbi is known for prominently inserting himself into his films as a director and concerned citizen struggling to understand or meaningfully synthesize all that he’s witnessing and filming. Another Mograbi trademark is the shocking eruption of humor in the midst of reflecting on the region’s injustices. Mograbi’s latest film, Z32, returns to a major theme of his previous work and especially Avenge but One of My Eyes (2005): an investigation of the way the military dehumanizes both soldiers and “the enemy” and, by extension, Israeli society as a whole.
This program is presented in conjunction with Department of Visual and Environmental Studies (VES) at Harvard, Balagan Films and the Consulate General of Israel to New England. Special thanks: Alfred Guzzetti, VES; Udi Urman, Galia Shoshani, Consulate General of Israel to New England; Jeff Silva, Balagan Films.
Special Event Tickets $10
Sunday September 20 at 7pm
Directed by Avi Mograbi, Appearing in Person
Israel/France 2008, 35mm, color, 81 min.
Hebrew with English subtitles
Z32 is built around a confession— a young man’s account of his participation in the revenge killing of two Palestinian police officers by the Israeli army in the occupied territories. Around the soldier’s account Mograbi interweaves a couple’s extended and often agonizing discussion of their relationship, punctuated by Mograbi himself characteristically addressing the camera. Adding further layers of complexity are the use of a digital “mask,” both to disguise the young soldier’s identity and foreground the politics of the camera as witness, and Mograbi’s radical decision to perform his own musings as Brechtian songs, set to Weill-ian music. The radical elements of Mograbi’s project combine to raise painful and unsettling questions about responsibility, forgiveness and the shape of cinematic truth.