Letters to Felice

28 Minutes, 1993
Short Film
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Directed by: Igal Bursztyn
Cast: Doron Mevan
Production:Igal Bursztyn
Photographer: Jorge Gurvich, Roni Katzanelson
Narrator: Doron Tavory
Language: Hebrew
| Subtitles not available

Director Igal Bursztyn’s experimental short explores the boundaries between narrative and documentary film in the course of one evening down the pub [in the Greater Tel Aviv suburb of Bat Yam – EE]. The melancholy woman who starts to dance, the young man who tries to hit on women, the boy who joins in the singing with [Middle Eastern] pop singer, Doron Miran, and the dancing punters – allegedly, all these events seem to transpire organically, with no obvious intervention or guiding hand to speak of.
In the background, as these scenes unfold, the voice of narrator Doron Tavory comes in as he starts to read excerpts from Franz Kafka’s letters to his lover, Felice Bauer. Kafka’s loneliness and longing for Bauer in his letters seem to resonate with some of the pubgoers – whereas at the same time, the highbrow prim and proper language, the anguish that echoes in his writing, and his view of Palestine as this idyllic Eden all stand in contrast with the party atmosphere, the blasting Middle Eastern pop music, and all the dancing. Through this clash between the soundtrack that speaks of a pining for a utopian Israel, and the scene at the pub that captures the local reality, as is, Bursztyn sets out to examine 1990s Israeli society.

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