Ethics V

26 Minutes, 1992
Short Film
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Directed by: Igal Bursztyn
Cast: Emanuel Pinto, Rachel Dobson, Eyal Shiray, Ossi Hillel, Shmuel Wolf
Photographer: Jorge Gurvich
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

Director Yigal Bursztyn’s experimental short is based on Baruch Spinoza’s book of the same title. Spinoza dubbed his philosophy, ‘the geometrical method’; as such, and quite fittingly the film’s most visually prominent element is indeed geometry. Bursztyn explores four scenes as they play out, simultaneously, on four balconies in the same building. The camera shoots the events statically, and with no movement whatsoever coupled with the passage of time, Bursztyn uses jump cuts to take us from one setting to the next. The building, itself, is a microcosm of Israeli society whose members occupy each of the four balconies: there’s the solitary author, the young woman and her spouse, the large family who live with their grandmother, the elderly couple; and later, also some undocumented Arabs with IDF soldiers on their tail who eventually detain and deport them.
The film’s stylised look and feel gives it the air of a silent comedy – a clear nod to Jacques Tati’s work, whereas the use of balconies as cinematic frames is also a shoutout to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 classic, Rear Window.

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