The 17th Victim

145 Minutes, 2003
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Directed by: David Ofek
Production:Edna Kowarsky, Elinor Kowarsky
Photographer: Rotem Yaron
Original Music: Ofir Leibovitz
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

Director David Ofek’s documentary-cum-activist film successfully captures reality, whilst simultaneously also shaping it. It is a documentary thriller that sets out to solve a long-standing mystery that is the identity of the 17th fatality in the 2002 suicide bombing on the no. 830 bus route, that took place at Megiddo Junction. Ofek and his camera crew interview a host of police detectives, staff at the coroner’s office, a sketch artist, and several passersby who ended up getting involved in the story. Their end result is a film which provides a rare glimpse into the convoluted police investigation, from beginning to conclusion when the name of the mystery John Doe is finally revealed.
In the process, the film captures Israel’s complicated reality in the days of the Second Intifada, proving yet again that film can, in fact, be a force for change.
No. 17 won an Ophir Award for Best Documentary, and a Best Documentary award at the DocAviv International Documentary Film Festival. It was featured at multiple festivals around the world, winning numerous international awards and honours, including at the Syracuse and Chicago international film festivals.

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