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short film / Israel / 1972 / super-8 / 9' / colour / silent
Concerning craftsmen‘s building techniques in architecture.
Film lost.

short film / Israel / 1972 / super-8 / 13' / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
A film about the buildings constructed by Munio Weinraub-Gitaï, a Bauhaus-trained architect
and father of Amos Gitaï, who is at that time student in architecture. How to animate
drawings and plans.

short film / Israel / 1972 / super-8 / 3'30" / bw and colour/ silent (soundtrack lost)
A pyrotechnical essay about light and movement, filmed at night.

short film / Israel / 1972 / super-8 / 3'20" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
The side of the road filmed from a car window. An impressionistic panorama of the earth, the
vegetation and the horizon line.

short film / Israel / 1972-1973 / super-8 / 4'25" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Short critical essay concerning habitat and the city according to modern man.

short film / Israel / 1972-1973 / super-8 / 3'20" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Several elderly women in front of their homes sit and talk. The camera concentrates on their
expressions and their faces.

short film / Israel / 1972-1973 / super-8 / 5' / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
The sea, waves and sand are unrecognisable in this highly pictorial essay on light, colour,
framing and textures.

short film / Israel / 1972- 1973 / super-8 / 4' / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Street scenes filmed by Amos Gitaï from the windows of his mother‘s apartment.

short film / Israel / 1972-1974 / super-8 / 8' / bw and colour / silent (soundtrack lost)

In Hebrew Aliya means ―wave of immigration‖. Through a photomontage, Amos Gitaï evokes
the memories of the generation of his grandfather, who arrived from Russia in 1905.

short film / Israel / 1973 / super-8 / 2'40" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
A study about paper in flames, made for a design class. Everything was consumed, including
the intertitle cards. Projected in a reverse manner.

short film / Israel / 1973 / 16 mm / 11' / colour
The spectacular geographical site of Haifa Bay is polluted by the petrochemical industry.
Meanwhile, what is going on? People keep talking…
Film lost.

short film / Israel / 1973-1974 / super-8 / 6'40" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Out-of-focus close-up shots give the images a pictorial quality, depicting the face and body of
a young woman, Shosh.

short film / United States / 1974 / super-8 / 1'50" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Filmed at the Arlington Military Cemetery during a commemorative parade, this film can only
be understood in the context of Memphis U.S.A., to which it is the ―negative.‖ Stiffness,
asepticism and decorum of the army in contrast to life in poor neighbourhoods.

short films / Israel / 1974 / super-8 / 10‘20" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
During the Yom Kippur War, Amos Gitaï served in a helicopter-borne rescue unit. These
three Super-8 reels, filmed at the height of the conflict, include shots taken from a helicopter,
as well as a few shots of the crew and the helicopter. The final reel shows tanks moving up
toward the Golan Heights and bombings on the Heights.

short films / Israel / 1974 / super-8 / 3'20" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
At his return from serving in the Yom Kippur war, during which he miraculously survived a
helicopter crash, Amos Gitaï directed this short feature in which he films, in a series of close
ups, his torn and blood-stained uniform, as well as some drawings.
 ―It is the Yom Kippur war, […] in which Amos Gitaï, like the soldier Weinraub in Kippur,
served as a crew member of a rescue helicopter. [...] Amos Gitaï brought the camera along
to the hospital and then home for his convalescence. There was no more war to film, but
there was his memory and, more immediate and more physical, his combat suit, torn to
pieces and stained with blood. It is hanging on the balcony on a washing line, as if left to dry.
It is an image that recurs more insistently and in several reels, shot from all distances and
angles. As if Gitaï wanted to convince himself that he is no longer inside that suit, to make
sure that he is really alive, safely ‘out of shot‘. At the same time, it appears like a sacred relic
and a grotesque scarecrow, the waving ghost of a nightmare now over. The soldier
Weinraub, lifeless, suspended, a monument and surrealist effigy to the absurdity of war. The

director Gitaï, out of shot, being born‖. Alberto Farassino, in Daniela Turco (ed.), Amos Gitaï,
Soveria Mannelli, Cosenza: Rubbettino Editore, 2001.

short film / United States / 1974 / super-8 / 3'30" / bw and colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Surfaces, movements and reflections of the sea and the beach in sunlight and rain.

short film / United States / 1974 / super-8 / 5'20" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Faces and expressions of men, women and children in the African-American neighbourhood
of Memphis.

short film / United States / 1974 / super-8 / 4'10" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)

The houses and buildings of the inhabitants living in the neighbourhood filmed in Memphis
U.S.A. (Faces), now filmed in their environment.

short film / United Kingdom / 1974 / super-8 / 3'30" / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
An exhibition of Inuit art in London. Through parallel editing, the Inuit statuettes, then the
faces, attitudes and gestures of visitors to the exhibition.

short film / United Kingdom / 1974 / super-8 / 4' / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Short comical film, using images gathered around London: some dentures and the flag from
an orthodontists‘ conference, a brass band in which each musician gives the beat…

short film / Israel / 1974-1975 / super-8 / 5' / bw / silent (soundtrack lost)
This film was made in Hebron and deals with the work and techniques of a glassblower.

short film / Israel /1974-1975 / super-8 / 5'30" / bw / silent (soundtrack lost)
Lucie has the allure and expressions of a diva. The film can be compared to both the Italian
dramas of the 1910s and the French experimental films of the 1920s.

short film / Israel /1975-1976 / super-8 / 3' / colour / silent (soundtrack lost)
Amos Gitaï‘s mother, Efratia Margalit Gitaï, walks by the seaside and sits on the beach
talking with Ophrah Shemesh, who would appear later in several of Amos Gitaï‘s projects,
including Golem-The Spirit of Exile in 1991.

short film / Israel / 1976 / 16 mm / 18' / bw and colour

Inspired by Bertolt Brecht‘s poem ―A Worker Reads History,‖ documentary and fictional
scenes are juxtaposed to create a parable about the need for a strong man, a charismatic
leader. This film includes the first images filmed by Gitaï in Wadi Rushmia in 1974.

short film / Israel / 1977 / 16 mm / 17‘ / bw / sans paroles
Filmed in Versio in southern Switzerland in the Ticino, this film incorporates, through the use
of parallel editing, scenes of village life and sequences showing a clown, Dimitri, who arrives
for a performance, both backstage and on stage. An essay about the body, the face and its
expressions, whether practiced and studied, or natural.

short film / Israel-France / 1977 / 16 mm / 12‘ / bw / soundtrack lost
Scenes filmed near the Israeli border alternate with scenes filmed in France along the
Maginot line. A film about the abstract and arbitrary nature of borders.

short film / Israel / 1977 / 16 mm / 30‘ / bw
Political Myths covers the annual festival of Betar and its fascist undertones. A young man
talks about creating a new Jewish race. The second sequence presents the conceptual artist
Avital Gueva, who placed cow heads along the demarcation line between Israel and the
occupied territories on the south coast, an evocation of Moses‘ dilemma with the Golden
Calf. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he intended to create an abstract religion
based on a strong moral code and not on territorial assumptions. Today, the settlers base
their legitimacy on a religion that is both pagan and territorial.
Film lost.

short film / Israel / 1977 / 16 mm / 23‘ / bw
Low-rent housing has become a modern way of packing human beings into a single type of
architectural structure that can be reproduced endlessly. The film observes and describes
this process.
Film lost

short film / Israel / 1977 / 16 mm / 15‘ / bw
Film about a song competition in Afula, a small town in Galilee, and the ways of using and
showing music.
Film lost.

short film / Israel / 1977 / 16 mm / 18‘ / bw
Film about a diver in the Red Sea.
Film lost.

short film / Israel / 1978 / 16 mm / 13‘15" / bw
During the 1960s and 1970s in Israeli suburbs, many slums were evacuated manu militari.
Dozens of low-rent buildings were built in order to rehabilitate the neighbourhoods. They
were modelled after similar Western structures and were ill suited to the needs of Middle
Eastern families. This is a criticism of standardised modern collective architecture, designed
to satisfy the average man.

short film / Israel / 1978 / 16 mm / 36‘ / bw
Wadi Rushmia is a valley in the heart of Haifa, a hole in the city dug by the English, who
used it as a stone quarry to build the harbour, before abandoning it in the late 1940s. The
Arabs in Haifa‘s Wadi Salib neighbourhood took refuge here during the war in 1948, after
being evicted from their homes—which were then destroyed. Later, during the 1950s, Jews
from Northern Africa and Eastern Europe moved in. The film shows Arab and Jewish families
at the moment when the municipality, who wants to ―rehabilitate‖ the Wadi, has to choose
between imposing a specific urban environment or leaving the neighbourhood residents free
to create their own environment.
The trilogy consisting of Wadi, Wadi, Ten Years Later and Wadi Grand Canyon, 2001 was
filmed in this same valley.
Film lost.

short film / Israel / 1979 / 16 mm / 16‘ / bw
Film about the visit of American President Jimmy Carter to Israel.

short film / Israel / 1979 / video / 50‘ / colour
with Jane Fonda / Francis Ford Coppola / Barry Scott / Betsey Johnson / Philip Johnson
Ideas of style and images in the 1970s: from postmodernist architecture to Jane Fonda and
Berkeley, African-American ghettos to anti-nuclear movements, punk fashion to swastikas
picked up by Hollywood.

short film / Israel / 1979 / 16 mm / 40‘ / bw
In 1959, North African Jews rebelled against the Labour Party, which treated them as
inferiors. There were disturbances throughout the country. In Wadi Salib, in the Haifa Valley,
rebels set fire to a whole part of the neighbourhood. The army surrounded the Wadi and
destroyed it. Twenty years later, Amos Gitaï interviewed the actors and witnesses.

documentary / Israel / 1980 / 16 mm / 51‘ / bw
House is the story of a house in West-Jerusalem: abandoned during the 1948 war by its
owner, a Palestinian doctor; requisitioned by the Israeli government as ―vacant‘; rented to
Jewish Algerian immigrants in 1956; purchased by a university professor who undertakes its
transformation into a patrician villa… The building site is like a theatre in which the former

inhabitants, the neighbours, the workers, the builder and the new owner all appear. Israeli
television censured the film.
―Gitaï wants this house to be both a symbol and something very concrete; he wants it to
become a character in a film. He achieves one of the most beautiful things a camera can
register 'live', as it were; people who look at the same thing but see different things - and who
are moved by that vision. In this crumbling shell of a house, real hallucinations begin to take
shape. The film's central idea is simple and the film has simply the force of that idea, no
more, no less.‖ Serge Daney, Libération, March 1st 1982.

documentary / Israel / 1980 / 16 mm / 57‘ / colour
with Saul Bellow / I.F. Stone / A. Farbstein
A series of interviews with American Jews: Saul Bellow, I.F Stone, A. Farbstein, who was
Trostky's secretary, the Levi-Strauss family… Jewish identity and how to define it, the issues
of roots and of immigration in the US and in Israel.

documentary / Israel - Finland / 1981 / 16 mm / 2 x 52‘ / colour
Part 1: Rituals; Part 2: Elsewhere (a.k.a. Selling Time)
with Francis Ford Coppola / Jane Fonda / Betsey Johnson / Paul Klein
Conversations with Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola, fashion designer Betsey Johnson
and NBC‘s head of programming as well as with figures from the American ―counterculture‖
in the early 1980s, when Ronald Reagan was elected president. The film is an examination
of image in a consumer society. Cultural Celebrities (1979), which is not presented here, was
a model for this film.

documentary / Israel / 1981 / 16 mm / 40‘ / colour
Wadi is a valley located east of Haifa. A former stone quarry, it is a sort of enclave where
Eastern European immigrants, survivors of the camps, live in a state of fragile coexistence
with Arabs who have also been expelled from their homes.
In 1981, Amos Gitaï went there to film the intimate story of Yussuf and Isha, Iso and Salo,
Miriam and Skander, an Arab family, a Jewish family and a mixed couples, together in this
remote and isolated place. By choosing a particular location and making a detailed study of
it, by examining the complex relationships that make up life in society, he turns the valley into
a specific place, the symbol of a possible coexistence.
This film is the first part of a trilogy about the site (Wadi 1981, Wadi Ten Years After 1981-
1991, Wadi Grand Canyon 2001).

documentary / Israel - France / 1982 / 16 mm / 83‘ / colour
A film-diary shot in the occupied territories before and during the invasion of Lebanon. ―The
film consists of about fifty sequence shots conceived as autonomous 'capsules', mostly shot
from a moving car as if this was its inseparable carriage, the moving base of the camera. The
road is thus transformed into an endless travelling shot, stretching across the occupied
zones, with pauses, occasional stops, slowing down, with emphatic moments. Here, more
than anywhere else, the travelling shot becomes a question of morality. […] We never enter
into the reality of the war, but we always remain on the edge of the scene, at a tangent to it.
The camera constantly slides over its subject without ever penetrating it, attacking it, just like
our eye slides over the surface of the screen. In that way, the camera reproduces within the

film our real position as viewers. […] From one shot to the other the opinions expressed do
not make contact with each other, but they end up outlining the image of the country's human
geography, a torn image, caught between two antagonistic poles but not reducible to the
expression of that opposition. While it is always easy to denounce a war, even to the point of
becoming captivated by its fascinating spectacle of horror and of conveying nothing but that
fascination […], Field Diary offers a civilian image of war, […] setting it apart from the rest of
audio-visual production by its content as much as by its mode of operation, by the solution it
offers to a problem that pertains to the ethics of the filmmaker as much as to the aesthetics
of cinema‖. Yann Lardeau, ― Une éthique du travelling ‖, Cahiers du cinéma, n°344, February

documentary / France – Israel – Sweden – Netherlands - Finland / 1983 / 16 mm / 78‘ /
―One day, when I opened my refrigerator, I looked closely at a can of pineapple. It had been
―made in the Philippines,‖ ―packaged in Honolulu,‖ ―distributed in San Francisco‖ and the
label ―printed in Japan‖. This was a concrete illustration of the multinational economy…
Pineapple is a little like House: a microcosm that allows me to tell a story and deal with the
issue of the Third Word.‖ A. Gitaï in Amos Gitaï, exil et territoires, by Serge Toubiana,
Cahiers du cinéma, 2003.
“In its formal construction, it is an arousing challenge to conventional documentary modes.
Importantly, the success of the exposé is intimately connected to the challenge of its form.
From the first interview with a Dole Corporation agronomist, framed asymmetrically in an
armchair, redundantly illustrating his poolside lecture with a still-life of tropical fruit, to the
concluding detail of labelling machinery receding into the middle distance of the frame, it is
apparent that Pineapple is about much more than story-telling, observation or explanation. Its
considerable power arises not through the prevailing forms of investigative journalism, ciné-
verité observation or even agitprop, but through challenging the claims for veracity,
transparency and objectivity made for these modes of film making by their supporters.
Pineapple eschews the ethnocentric voice-over narration and voyeuristic camera
characteristic of ethnographic films, for instance, by giving its many interviewees the luxury of
time to speak for themselves rather than, as is more customary, being spoken 'on behalf of'.
But they do not escape the camera's critical eye. […] Director Amos Gitaï's strategy is neither
to ridicule nor to sanction his subjects. Rather, it is to undermine the security of the audience
in the transparency of what is said and seen, to encourage scrutiny of what they represent
rather than judgement about the kind of people they are. The effect is to read, as it were, the
interviews rather than the people as symptoms of the complex unequal First/Third World
relation. […] Pineapple’s mixture of history lessons, personal testimony and breathtaking
images is complex but strategically key to the task of teasing apart the tangled strands of
global domination.‖ David Lusted, Framework, n. 29, 1985
―Gitaï is among the few filmmakers engaged in rethinking social documentary. […] ―I wish to
show the structures that oppress people‖, he says - structures being the operative word. […]
The subjects in Gitaï‘s documentaries are less individuals than individualised embodiments
of predetermined roles - their sites defined by the flow of history and international capital‖.
Jim Hoberman, Village Voice.

documentary / France - Israel – United Kingdom – Pays-Bas / 1984 / 16 mm / 78‘ / colour
In Thailand half a million women work as prostitutes while men leave the country as low-paid
labourers in the Gulf Emirates. A film on the trade of human beings and economic relations in
the modern world.―This uncomfortably lucid film about the international traffic in contract
labourers, mainly from the South-East Asian countries to the Persian Gulf and Europe masks

its horror with the cool depiction of hard evidence. It concentrates chiefly on the way such
virtually enforced displacement affects the cloture and relationship of ordinary people, poor
and desperate, who are involved‖. (Derek Malcolm, London Film Festival catalogue, 1984.)
―A strategy of address that tries to mobilise meanings rather to impose them. It works with
the cultural and the political knowledges assumed to be present in the viewer, calling on non-
automatic, non-normative ways of deciphering one‘s environment‖. Paul Willemen, The Films
of Amos Gitaï, Paul Willemen (ed.), British Film Institute, London, 1993.

documentary / United Kingdom – Israel – Pays-Bas / 1984 / 16 mm and video / 60‘ / colour
The film integrates sequences of American Mythologies, juxtaposing them with images of
Ronald Reagan‘s 1984 electoral campaign.

fiction / France – Israel – United Kingdom – Austria – Netherlands / 1985 / 35 mm / 97‘ /
with Simona Benyamini / Mohammed Bakri / Juliano Merr / Zare Vartanian / Schmuel Wolf /
David Cohen / Sarah Cohen / Rim Bani
This first long feature, designed as an immense ―tableau vivant‖, tells the Old Testament
story of Esther, who does not know she is Jewish when she is chosen by King Ashasuerus
as his wife. Upon discovering a plot against her people, she manages to save them. Using
this myth of survival and resistance, Amos Gitaï also narrates the revengeful exterminations
perpetrated by the Jews against their enemies. This violence resonates with current events,
creating a parallel underscored by the ruins of Wadi Salib, where Gitaï filmed the story. This
is the first part in a trilogy that also comprises Berlin Jerusalem and Golem, the Spirit of
―Individual characters clash visually with their backgrounds, and one part of a sequence
seems somehow to contradict another. But such disparities encourage the viewer to play an
active, thinking role in apprehending the film as a whole.‖ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago
Tribune, Nov. 3, 1989.
―The director holds the story at an analytical distance. Events are re-enacted in a sequence
of ritual tableaux shot in the ruins of Wadi Salib, the old Arab neighbourhood of Haifa that the
Palestinians abandoned after the 1948 war. The sense of ancient unsettled scores that have
simmered for centuries is almost palpable in this beautiful but ravaged territory. In the most
striking shots, the actors seem to blend into the architecture like the figures in Persian
miniatures. These shots are pointedly contrasted with others photographed in the same
vicinity, which make it look like a squalid contemporary junkyard. The juxtapositions suggest
how overwhelmingly the region‘s history continues to haunt Israel‘s present.‖ Stephen
Holden, New York Times, May 19, 1989.

documentary / France - United Kingdom / 1987 / 35 mm / 93‘ / colour
with Annie Lennox / David A. Stewart / Jimmy ‘Z‘Zavala / Patrick Seymour / Clem Burke /
Chucho Mercham / Joniece Jamison / Ryuichi Sakamoto / Kenny Endo / Conny Plank / Toru
Takemitsu / Watazumido Doso Roshi
The 1986 Eurythmics tour of Japan. It is the end of the world tour during which Annie Lennox
vocals) and Dave Stewart (guitar) promote their latest album ‗Revenge‘. It is also, between
concerts, the shock of discovery: a world of sounds as cultivated by the Japanese, both
brutally technological and highly refined traditional expressions.
―The result is a fascinating and idiosyncratic exploration of Japan and its music culture,
during witch the taciturn Dave and the more talkative Annie improvise and philosophise
respectively, experiment with Japanese sounds and locations, compare notes (in every

sense) with local musicians, and reveal to the full their genuine passion for music and gift for
live performance, be it in concert, bamboo forest or the backs of cars‖. Clyde Jeavons,
London Film Festival catalogue, 1987.

fiction / Israel - France - Pays-Bas – Italy – United Kingdom / 1989 / 89‘ / colour
with Liza Kreuzer / Rivka Neuman / Markus Stockhausen / Benjamin Levy / Vernon
Dobtcheff / Veronica Lazare / Bernard Eisenschitz / the Pina Bausch Company
Two women, the German Else Lasker-Schüler and the Russian Mania Shohat, are each
travelling to Jerusalem, a mythical but also very real city that they must confront… Based on
the biographies of these two women, one of the first Russian Zionists and a German
Expressionist poetess, the film moves back and forth between the dim cafés of Berlin in the
1930s and the hills of Jerusalem. Berlin Jerusalem or the history of crushed utopias… Here,
as with Truffaut, wrote Serge Toubiana, ―life consists of pieces that don‘t fit together‖.
―In Berlin Jerusalem, the city [of Jerusalem] organises the narrative: that is where the film‘s
two heroines want to go, where they meet each other and where the narrative ends. In this
film, Jerusalem appears in all its chimerical aspects. It is a mythical city, Else Lasker-
Schüler‘s poetic city, but also the city of the first Jewish migrants, an Arab city and a
contemporary megalopolis. Its appearance in the end and its mirage, which appears from the
beginning, bind the entire narrative into parallel layers […]. Reality erupts into the film as
something sudden and lethal, like the gunshots, the explosions, the chaos […] A
conventional world of ruins is transformed into a convulsive world of violence‖. Mikhail
Iampolski, ―The Road to Jerusalem‖, The Films of Amos Gitaï, a Montage (dir. Paul
Willemen), BFI, London, 1993.

documentary / France / 1990 / video / 60‘ / colour
with Tonino Guerra / Dominique Sanda / Annie Lennox / Henri Alekan / Adina Baron
A series of scenes about the creation of the Golem. This film constitutes the first part of a
trilogy on this mythical figure of Jewish legends and was filmed like a notebook, during the
research done by Amos Gitaï and Tonino Guerra on the subject. Little by little, the notebook
takes on a life of its own…
―With its overlapping images, faces, landscapes, countries and civilisations (India, America,
the former Soviet Union, Israel), its superimposition of sounds, voices, languages, texts,
songs and music, of yesterday and of today, its intertwining of fiction and documentary, of
the historically true and of the legendary, Creation of the Golem is a film which takes marks.
Marks of themes for a film to come and the necessary cinematographic operations. Marks for
a film still in its shell, where the still unhatched shapes are both unfinished and intertwined.
[…] The title telescopes two operations: the birth of a film and the identification of a Golem.
This superposition is not immaterial: it suggests that the Golem has no other body than the
film itself. In other words, it is only a fiction – the incarnation of an idea, a moral concept. A
film is only that, whatever moral it embodies‖. Yann Lardeau, Les Films d’Amos Gitaï,

fiction / France – Italy – Germany – Netherlands – United Kingdom / 1991 / 35 mm / 105‘ /
with Hanna Schygulla / Vittorio Mezzogiorno / Ophrah Shemesh / Samuel Fuller / Mireille
Perrier / Sotigui Kouyaté / Fabienne Babe / Bernardo Bertolucci / Bernard Eisenschitz /
Marisa Paredes / the Pina Bausch Company

Based on an interpretation of the Golem in the Spanish Kabala—the Golem as an
incarnation of exile and wanderers—the film explores the contemporary meanings of the
Book of Ruth in the Bible.
“The Book of Ruth is based on a documentary story: a family in Bethlehem suffers from the
famine there and goes to Moab, the 'new country of exile'. But the Biblical writer takes this
event and transforms it into fictional material. And this then becomes eventually even more
than fiction: it becomes a sanctified myth. We, in turn, place the Biblical story in the present
and work with those ambiguities, but we strip away some of the sanctification, keeping the
mythological echoes but placing them in the here and now. The issue of creation is the
general framework of the film and, inside this framework, there is a permanent back and forth
movement to the issue of exile. Through the Golem, I tried to deal with some of my own
questions regarding the cinematic language. In Golem, the Spirit of Exile, the central spine of
the story is the theme of being uprooted, which links the whole trilogy.‖ A. Gitaï, in Les Films
d’Amos Gitaï, Yann Lardeau, unpublished

documentary / Israel - France – United Kingdom / 1991 / 16 mm /97‘ / colour
Ten years after his first Wadi, Amos Gitaï takes up again the tale of the inhabitants of Wadi
Rushmia. The former protagonists are still there. Their living conditions have deteriorated
and new Russian immigrants have arrived and settled. The circumstances and individual
stories reflect the political and social situation of the region, which has deteriorated.

documentary / Italy - France / 1992 / video / 87‘ / colour
with Hanna Schygulla / Samuel Fuller / Enrico Lo Verso / Jérôme Koenig / Ophrah Shemesh
/ Masha Itkina / Mariella Lo Sardo / Alberto Scala
A play directed and filmed in Gibellina, Sicily, in July of 1992. It is an adaptation of a text by
Flavius Josephus, The War of the Jews, and The Dead Sea Scrolls.
In AD 70, the Romans invade Jerusalem. After four years of war, the fortress of Massada,
the last bastion of Jewish resistance, is besieged. The men, women and children choose to
commit suicide rather than submit to the Romans.
“The War of the Jews, by Flavius Josephus, is an account of the destruction of Jewish
sovereignty and of the first Jewish city, Jerusalem, in 70 AD. The Massada story is about the
suicide of seven hundred women, men and children. They decided to die rather than to
become slaves of Rome. After Jerusalem had fallen to the Romans, Massada had continued
the rebellion. The Romans had already destroyed most of the country and exiled massive
parts of the population, but they were obsessed with this tiny country, Judea, and the Roman
general went back just to conquer this insignificant mountain in the middle of nowhere. This
disproportion in the Massada story made it an excellent myth for the new state to grab.
Modernity recycles many of the old myths and the Massada mythology is one of them. It had
been totally forgotten for centuries. The Diaspora was not interested in a suicidal mythology.‖
A. Gitaï, in Les Films d’Amos Gitaï, Yann Lardeau, unpublished.

documentary / France – United Kingdom - Italy / 1993 / 16 mm / 90' / colour
with M. Rosenbaum / Michael Kaps / Marian Glensk
1992. In Wuppertal, in Germany, two skinheads killed a man who claimed to be Jewish.
Amos Gitaï questions the witnesses, the residents, and the protagonists of the trial.
―It is not a film that is designed to shock, as a journalistic report on neo-Nazis would have. In
the film, we do not see any picture of the victim, we do not learn anything about him, only his
name. Gitaï does not attempt to interview the skinheads, or to observe them from afar. The

murderers and their victim are ―outside‖ the film – this very absence creates panic. This
refusal to let us look straight at them becomes progressively the essential metaphor of what
the film is about. Gitaï talks with the public prosecutor, the lawyers of the accused, the
relatives of the bar owner, the residents: those who have heard of the incident, and those
who have not. Those who are involved and those who are not, those who are afraid to speak
and those who want to. Like these young people at a fair, who express their hatred towards
foreigners living in Germany and are proud of having a friend called Mustafa, whom we see
with them, and who joins in the conversation. Gitaï does not try to ―find a meaning‖ to the
incident—at least, not directly. His film describes the process of a disappearance. In a
certain way, the more we listen and the more we look, the more the event is removed from
time and makes us see the History that it represents.‖ Uri Klein, ―The man who wanted to be
Elvis murdered a man who maybe was a Jew‖, Ha’Aretz, 13.11.1993.

documentary / Italy - France – Israel / 1993 / video / 90‘ / colour
with Hanna Schygulla / Samuel Fuller / Enrico Lo Verso / Masha Itkina / Shuli Rand / Ronit
Elkabetz / Jérôme Koenig
Film of the opening theatrical event of the 55th exhibition of the Visual Arts Biennale in
Venice, June 1993. The performance was based on the same sources as Metamorfosi di una
melodia, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Flavius Josephus‘ War of the Jews.
―In the play I wanted to put interrogation points into the main text without mixing them into
Josephus' text. The play establishes a kind of dialogue between blocks of texts. This is rather
different from the usual form of dialogue where one character puts forward a fragment of
discourse to which a second character then responds. Our method requires a more complex
reading of the geometry of these texts carried by several narrators simultaneously. Geometry
is a way of connecting fragments while allowing them to retain their own coherence, without
mashing them into one 'coherent' story. This also gives me an opportunity to present the
tensions between a variety of languages and their historical contexts in a contemporary
formation. In our modern interpretations of the text of Flavius Josephus, we keep a variety of
languages, accents, intonations and so on, and we present the tensions between them.
These tensions are a sign of twentieth century culture: people migrate across the surface of
the earth and when they settle somewhere they express themselves in an often broken but
unique manner.‖ A. Gitaï, in Les Films d’Amos Gitaï, Yann Lardeau, unpublished.

fiction / France – USSR / 1993 / 35 mm / 87‘ / colour
with Hanna Schygulla / Jérôme Koenig / Samuel Fuller / Masha Itkina / Arcadi
Grayomoskeiekov / Yuri Klepikov / Natalia Silantyeva
Daniel, who runs an art gallery in Paris, travels to Siberia to bring back a collection of artwork
he has just inherited. He brings back a giant sculpted hand, which he believes to be a piece
of the Golem, the legendary figure of Jewish myths. He travels across Russia in search of
the rest of the statue. This is the third and final part of the trilogy on the theme of the Golem.
―This is a sort of initiatory journey during which the character gradually discovers his identity.
He receives new information at each step; he gets lost, never finds the collection of
paintings, but does discover the meaning of his existence.‖ A. Gitaï in Amos Gitaï, exil et
territoires, by Serge Toubiana, Les Cahiers du cinéma, 2003.

documentary / France – United Kingdom / 1993 / video / 90' / colour
with the rock group Queen Mary

The story of a French pop group, born in the Parisian suburb of Gennevilliers, discovered by
Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox (Eurythmics) who invited them to record in London. Their
music expresses the feelings of the people who live on the periphery of the city, a sort of
alienation of the individuals by their environment, the anonymous architecture of low-rent
housing, characteristic of the second half of the 20th century.

documentary / Israel - Italy – United Kingdom / 1994 / video / 60‘ / colour
A cartography of the Italian political landscape during the 1993 municipal and presidential
campaigns. The leading contenders in Naples are Mussolini‘s granddaughter Alessandra and
her left wing rival Antonio Bassolino.
―By the absence of any commentary as well as by its commitment, In the Name of the Duce
resembles a documentary. Nonetheless, its fragmentary composition, its distance, its outside
approach of the subject and, apart from the denunciation of corruption, the absence of
political stands, give it a particular singularity. Alessandra Mussolini, whose campaign is at
the heart of the film, and at its source, is presented in a minimal way: hardly a sixth of the
film, under ten minutes. Alessandra is a decoy, a dummy-candidate. She herself is not the
subject of the film—not to say that she does not have a real political substance—but it is
rather her name, that of her grandfather. Hence, the entire film addresses the question: ―what
face should we give to this name, and what are the politics of this face?‖ Yann Lardeau, Les
Films d’Amos Gitaï, unpublished.

documentary / France - Germany / 1994 / video / 213' in four parts / colour
with Yitzhak Rabin / Shimon Peres / Amos Oz / Emil Habibi / Natan Zach / Juliano Merr
On 4 May 1994, in Cairo, Arafat and Rabin signed a peace agreement. For four months,
Amos Gitaï followed the events leading up to the event and chronicled public reactions on
both sides. This television film is in four parts:
Part 1 / 85'
In the Land of Oranges / Au Pays des Oranges - Conflit et Réconciliation
From Tel Aviv to Gaza and then Jericho: the cultivation of oranges, the symbol par
excellence of the Israeli and Palestinian agricultural production and exports. The reflection of
the residents and workers on each side of what will become a mutual border.
Part 2 / 61'
Political Route / Parcours politiques - Le Tuyau
The path of political ideas, from Cairo to Jerusalem via Washington. The memories, fear and
hopes of the chief participants in the peace process: Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon
Peres, Nabil Sha'at, Yitzhak Shamir, Bill Clinton.
Part 3 / 41'
Writers Speak / Paroles d'écrivains - Culture de l'Est méditerranéen
with Emile Habibi / Amos Oz / A.B. Yehushua / Nathan Zach
An intellectual journey: Arab and Jewish authors discuss the utopian aspects of their work
and present their views on how the situation in the Middle East could improve.
Part 4 / 26'
Theatre For Life / Théâtre pour la vie / Donnons une chance à la paix
with Juliano Merr
Juliano Merr, resident in Haifa, runs a small theatre company for children in the Jenine camp
for Palestinian refugees on the West Bank. When a border guard asks ―Are you a Jew or an
Arab?‖ Juliano replies, ―Well, it‘s complex.‖ His mother is an Israeli, his father an Arab.
Palestinian actor living in East Jerusalem travels to the west side of the city to work with

fiction / France – Israel - Italy / 1995 / 35 mm / 110‘ / colour
with Assi Dayan / Amos Shub / Amos Gitaï / Lea König / Michal Zoharetz / Samuel Calderon
/ Riki Gal / Menahem Golans / David Cohen / Azaria Rapoport
First part of the trilogy on cities, after the novel by Yaakov Shabtai, Past Continuous. The film
depicts the spiritual disarray of three men in their thirties and forties, in the agitation and
turmoil of Tel Aviv, the city created by Jewish pioneers in 1909. None of them has the life he
had imagined.
 ―Disenchantment […] is the main theme of the film. Gitaï‘s characters no longer believe in
anything. They are not angry, but they no longer understand anything about their own family
history. They refuse their own legacy. They are disenchanted. They hardly live at all, they
merely survive. They meet, wait and hope their lives will pick up, that desire will once again
foster desire. […] Devarim is also the film of a generation that no longer respects the dead.
And this disrespect, this derision, this nonchalance is also the political expression of
disenchantment. It is as if the sons no longer believe in what passes for the essential values
of the State of Israel, of its foundation: the respect for the pioneers, the feeling of affiliation
with those who believed in the Zionist utopia.‖ Serge Toubiana, Les Cahiers du cinéma, n.

documentary / Israel / 1996 / video / 90‘ / colour
with Aviv Geffen / Efratia Margalit-Gitaï / Avner Hacohen / UI Simchoni / Léa Rabin
Three weeks after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995, Amos Gitaï
investigates the traces of the event. He travels through the country for three months;
memories of wars and peace take form through numerous encounters.
―The film borrows from all forms of cinema, investigative documentary, autobiographical film,
road movie, rock movie, and is finally satisfied with none. And yet, at the heart of this
fragmented approach, this cinematic mausoleum finds its coherence, gradually weaving the
threads of a dialogue between the dead man and all those places and people that Gitaï
convokes in his mental arena.‖ Laurent Roth, Cahiers du Cinéma, June 1996.

documentary / Israel / 1996 / video / 87‘ / colour
with Hanna Schygulla / Samuel Fuller / Enrico Lo Verso / Macha Itkina / Schuli Rand / Ronit
Elkabetz / Jérôme Koenig / Efratia Gitaï
In this film, the itinerary of Flavius Josephus at the time of the destruction of the Temple of
Jerusalem in AD 70 crosses that of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated in 1995, and
the memory of the Holocaust through images of Poland. Milim reflects Amos Gitaï‘s views on
the history of the Jewish people and Israeli society in the wake of Rabin‘s assassination.

short film / France / 1996 / video / 32' / colour
A documentary on the 1996 exhibition at the Centre Pompidou on Munio Weinraub-Gitaï,
Bauhaus architect and father of Amos Gitaï.

Amos Gitaï and Elia Suleiman
documentary / France - Israel / 1997 / 35 mm / 83‘ / colour
with Elia Suleiman / Amos Gitaï

In the train on the way to the Festival in Vesoul, filmmakers Amos Gitaï and Elia Suleiman
talk about the subjects that preoccupy them: war and peace in the Middle East, their film
projects, their cities, their private lives… In Vesoul, the French welcome is rather comical and
the questions of war and peace in the Middle East create misunderstandings: through a kind
of inverted exoticism, we end up wondering who is really the ―stranger‖ in this story.

documentary / Israel – France / 1997 / super-8 and video / 120' / colour
with Avner Hacohen / Zaki Zuriel / Uri Simchoni / Uzi Cantoni / Amos Gitaï / Efratia Gitaï /
Ben Gitaï / Keren Gitaï
In 1973, during the Kippur War, an Israeli helicopter with a first-aid crew is shot down over
the Golan Heights. There were seven men aboard, including Amos Gitaï. Twenty years later,
he meets up with the other crewmembers and returns to the location of the accident. It is a
journey towards remembering a trauma and finding the scars it has left on the survivors.
―Each protagonist of the story has a different memory of the accident. So much so that every
memory, every reconstruction of the accident testifies at the same time to its loss, its
dispersal into lived experience, its disappearance in the very movement of recollection, into
the fissures of memory, in order to survive.‖

documentary / Israel – France / 1998 / video / 60‘ / colour
The culture of oranges, a prism that reflects the fabric of the socio-economic relationships
between the Israeli and the Palestinians.

documentary / Israel – France – Italy / 1998 / 35 mm / 87‘ /colour
Eighteen years after House, Amos Gitaï returns to the setting of his first film to observe the
changes in the new residents as well as in the neighbourhood. The filmmaker works like an
archaeologist, revealing, under multiple layers, a complex labyrinth of destinies.

fiction / Israel - France / 1998 / 35 mm / 97‘ / colour
with Moshe Ivgi / Hanna Maron / Yussef Abu Warda / Dalit Kahan / Juliano Merr / Anne Petit-
Moshe, in his forties, lives in Haifa, and his life is difficult, to say the least. His wife wants a
divorce, his mistress is sleeping with his best friend, his mother calls him Moshe, and his
father calls him Moussa. His mother is Jewish, his father Arab. This film is the second part of
the trilogy about Israeli cities.
―Yom Yom is set in a time of moral and political confusion that seems almost idyllic by
today‘s inflamed standards. […] The film is structured as a series of vignettes: Should Yussef
(Moshe‘s father) sell his childhood home to an Israeli developer? Should Moshe and his wife
Didi stay together? These small dilemmas play out against the backdrop of a much greater
morass - where is the country headed? From the perch high above events, Mimi (Keren
Morr), a traffic controller, watches over the chaos bemusedly. Part of a trilogy of films
devoted to Israel‘s three main cities, Yom Yom draws upon Haifa‘s tradition of peaceful
coexistence between Arab and Jewish neighbours to tell a dark comic tale of characters
driven by divided loyalties and neurotic inhibitions. Gitaï‘s genius is to show the conflict
infiltrating every encounter, from the marketplace to the bedroom and beyond. The vivid
portraits of Israeli social types, whether arrogant reservists or hapless nebbishes, stand in

sharp contrast to images promoted in the media.‖ Leslie Camhi, Village Voice, February 20th,

documentary / Israel / 1998 / video / 110‘ / colour
with UI Avneri / Theo Balmer / Efratia Gitaï / Amos Gitaï
During the first Zionist Congress in 1897, Theodor Herzl brought up the issue of the creation
of a Jewish State. The congress took place in Basel and was attended by Eliyahu Munchik-
Margalit, Amos Gitaï‘s maternal grand-father. In 1933, Amos Gitaï‘s father, Munio Weinraub-
Gitaï, also passed through Basel as he fled Nazi Germany… A journey from Basel to
Jerusalem, from Vienna to Haifa, from 1897 to today.

fiction / Israel - France / 1999 / 35 mm / 110‘ / colour
with Yaël Abecassis / Yoram Hattab / Meital Barda / Uri Ran Klauzner / Yussef Abu Warda /
Sami Hori
This third film in the trilogy about cities is set in Mea Shearim, the ultra-orthodox
neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Meïr and Rivka have been married for ten years but have to
divorce because they have no children. Malka, Rivka‘s sister, is in love with Yaakov, who has
chosen to live outside the community. The rabbi makes a decision: Malka will marry Yossef,
his assistant. Rivka falls prey to solitude, while Malka chooses another path: rebellion.
―Kadosh - the title means ― sacred ‖ - addresses universal themes. Among them are the
demands of ultra-orthodox religion, which confines as it sustains, and the suffering of men
and women whose religion comes before love, but whose culture lacks a vocabulary for
expressing personal pain. Yet Kadosh is also foreign in the extreme, an austere and
shocking portrait of daily life in Mea Shearim, the Hasidic Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. […]
Kadosh is a horror story, or rather two horror stories intertwined, about women tyrannised by
men in the name of religious belief‖. The Wall Street Journal, March 17th, 2000.

fiction / Israel – France - Italy / 2000 / 35 mm / 120‘ / colour
with Liron Levo / Tomer Ruso / UI Ran Klauzner / Yoram Hattab / Guy Amir
October 6th, 1973. The country is quiet, it is Yom Kippur. When the war breaks out, Weinraub
and his friend Ruso race out to the Golan Heights to join their unit. Chaos reigns everywhere.
They cannot find their unit, so decide to join an Air Force emergency first-aid unit. A few days
later, a missile shoots down their helicopter over the Golan Heights.
 ―Throughout the film, the viewer remains locked in this absurd question: are we in the war or
is that happening somewhere else, off-screen, or was it happening just before the camera
got there? We never know for certain and then we realise that this uncertainty is in fact the
most profound truth of war, as cinema has hardly ever shown it, with a force and an intensity
that takes your breath away. […] The principle for filming warfare in Kippur is simple, limpid.
Favouring real time spaces, […] making the camera an extra person walking with the
soldiers, running behind the others to get on the helicopter before it takes off. The viewer is
inside the war while remaining outside the group, accompanying them. Never does the film
encourage in the viewer that fantasy of being one of them.‖ Charles Tesson, Les Cahiers du
Cinéma, n°549, September 2000.

fiction / Israel - France - Italy / 2001 / 35 mm / 90‘ / colour
with Samantha Morton / Thomas Jane / Luke Holland / Daphna Kastner / Danny Huston /
Arthur Miller

In 1939, Kalman, an ambitious young businessman, leaves Europe to join his sister
Samantha in Palestine. She lives with Dov, an idealistic architect obsessed with the Bauhaus
style. With their friends, they form a group, which discusses the future Israeli State. A loose
adaptation of Arthur Miller‘s novel Homely Girl, A Life.
― At the height of the Zionist movement, Gitaï films this anglophone couple who have come to
Palestine for idealistic reasons… Their roots remain in their native country. The couple is
wrapped up in a claustrophobic intimacy and never really connects with the land of their
ideals. Except for her: she loses her position in this male-dominated world but discovers a
certain dignity in being herself, alone.‖ Toshi Fujiwara, Amos Gitaï, Israel, Images, Diaspora,
Akira Tochigi and Toshi Fujiwara, 2003, FilmArt, Tokyo.

short film / Israel-France / 2001 / video / 7' / colour
with Amos Gitaï
In a seven-minute sequence shot in which he smokes with obvious enjoyment, Amos Gitaï
explains how a television channel hired him to make a film about Marlboro. They paid him,
then, after some thought, asked him to keep the money but give up the project.
This short film was made for the Quinzaine de la Critique 2001, for which several filmmakers
were asked to address the theme of globalisation.

documentary / Israel – France – Italy / 2001 / video / 90' / colour
Twenty years after his first Wadi, Amos Gitaï returns for the third time to Wadi Rushmia. The
site has been almost entirely destroyed by real-estate developers. Yussef and his wife,
guardians of the place and of its history, still live there… Wadi Grand Canyon is composed of
three films shot in 1981, 1991 and 2001 on the Wadi Rushmia site.
―Documentary film is used to this process which consists in going back on one‘s steps,
filming the time which has elapsed, recording the traces of what has changed and the marks
of what has remained. Gitaï himself did it in House and A House in Jerusalem. But Wadi,
now Wadi Grand Canyon with its third episode, is different. Because time, in Israel, is a
strategic commodity, almost a military secret. For the imagination – with its political
consequences – everything seems to take place in a condensed time space, with an urgency
knowing neither past nor future, as if the ―young State‖ had been born yesterday, as if every
instant invented its own ideological model – the only historical perspectives being the
legendary epic of Zionism and the dark horizon of the Shoah. But the history of Israel is
already a long one, day after day, that of the unfortunate people who live through it. This
statement is hardly an evidence, in an environment wholly animated by fantasies of control,
of conquest, of an initiative ceaselessly intent on overthrowing innumerable enemies, on
mastering the desert, on defeating ancient curses, etc. Recording time in its duration, side by
side with those who, neither mystics, warriors nor pioneers, do not decide nor control
anything, is, in this context, the most radical side step. Just listening to words, tones,
changes in language and accent, silences, catching postures, looks, wrinkles on faces and
stones, all this amounts to an act of intense and modest courage, and generates light.
Making a film, the art of time and of recording, in this region where the audio-visual media -
the perfect opposite – are the most densely concentrated, becomes by essence an
extraordinarily powerful critical work. Still, one must know how to go about this, in other
words, to doubt a lot, to hesitate, to offer no resistance.‖ Jean-Michel Frodon, in Amos Gitaï,
Israël, Images, Diaspora, Akira Tochigi and Toshi Fujiwara, 2003, FilmArt, Tokyo.

11' 09'' 01
short film / France –United Kingdom / 2002 / 35 mm / 130‘ / colour
with Keren Mor / Liron Levo / Tomer Russo

Excerpt from 11’09"01, a collective film composed of 11 short films dealing with September
11th 2001, each one lasting 11 minutes, 9 seconds and 1 shot, and directed by 11
filmmakers from different countries.
Amos Gitaï films in a sequence shot the arrival of a TV crew in a Tel Aviv street just after a
suicide bombing. At the same time, catastrophe strikes in New York…

fiction / Israel - France - Italy / 2002 / 35 mm / 100‘ / colour
with Andrei Kashkar / Helena Yaralova / Yussef Abu Warda / Moni Moshonov / Menachem
Lang / Sandy Bar / Tomer Ruso / Veronica Nicole
May 1948. Battles are raging in Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. In two weeks,
the British mandate will come to an end and they will leave the country. A rusty cargo ship,
the Kedma, is on its way to the Promised Land. Hundreds of Holocaust survivors from all
over Europe are packed aboard. On a beach in Palestine, soldiers of the Palmach — the
clandestine Jewish army — wait to welcome them, whilst British soldiers intend to stop them
disembarking. Nevertheless, a small group of men and women manages to escape to the
hills and finds itself in the midst of the battle for the road to Jerusalem.
―How does one make fiction out of a founding myth? For America, Hollywood invented the
western. For Israel, Amos Gitaï shot Kedma. […] Since he does not really go in for
nationalism, he makes us look at a few of the black holes into which the Middle East is
falling. To tell us that when Israel was founded in 1948 - an incredible attempt at turning a
people‘s fate into destiny - they were met with an even crazier reality. And Gitaï, impressively
melancholic, spares no one: neither the British soldiers nor those of the Palmach, the
clandestine Jewish army. […] The situation called for a totally new nation, not just another
State. Gitaï also underlines this point: the Israeli issue is not the Jewish issue. And utopias
rarely end happily. As for the Arabs, the other great group of displaced people in the film,
Gitaï does not grant them any extra heroism or make martyrs of them. Yussuf, an old
peasant harassed by Jewish soldiers, starts vociferating […] Later, Janusz the Jew, dazed by
the fighting, starts yelling […]. Always the same thing, in this nightmare, soliloquy for
soliloquy.‖ Gérard Lefort, Libération, May 17, 2002

fiction / France – Israel / 2003 / 35 mm / 120' / colour
with Yaël Abecassis / Uri Klauzner / Hanna Laslo / Ronit Elkabetz / Amos Lavie / Lupo
Berkowitch / Liron Levo
Up to now, old Schwartz led a peaceful existence, surrounded by Linda, a young Philippine
woman who takes care of him, his neighbour Aviram who never goes out without his dog,
and Mali, whose love affair with Ilan, on the other side of the courtyard, did not bother him
much. But lately everything seems out of order. Every day, the building echoes with
screaming and yelling. Is it because of Hezi, who has secretly rented an apartment to make
love with his mistress Gabi, whose shrieks of pleasure bring all the neighbours out? Or is it
because of the new neighbours who extend their apartment, unauthorised, by drawing on the
courtyard? Even Mali is in trouble: the building contractor in charge of the work camps in
front of her home with his Chinese workmen. He happens to be her ex-husband. On top of
everything, their son Eyal has deserted… A chronicle of everyday life in a building situated
on the border between Tel Aviv and Jaffa…