Yigal (Igal) Bursztyn is a director, screenwriter, film teacher, and Emeritus Professor at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Film and Television Studies. Bursztyn was born in the UK and at the age of eight, he and his family moved to Poland, his father’s native country. At 13, the family all headed to Israel. After studying Maths at Hebrew University and Philosophy at Tel Aviv University, Bursztyn returned to the UK and in 1966 enrolled in film school in London. He came back to Israel towards the end of the decade and began writing film and literary reviews for daily broadsheets Haaretz and [the long defunct] Al Hamishmar, and the quarterly magazine, Keshet.

Around that time, Bursztyn also started directing films. He was part of the burgeoning New Sensibility movement whose members sought to make avantgarde European-esque films – a polar opposite of the period’s hugely popular working-class comedies and melodramas, aka ‘Bourekas films.’

In the early days, Bursztyn was predominantly directing shorts and documentaries. That is, until 1978 which marked his feature-length directorial debut with the film, Belfer, starring Gadi Yagil.

With the exception of his debut, Bursztyn’s films are usually of an experimental nature and have been known to lean into various philosophical theories. Belfer was followed by three subsequent features films: Everlasting Joy that came out in 1996 and won an Ophir Award for Best Screenplay; The Glow (2003) that was shown at the Haifa International Film Festival, and Out of the Blue (2008) that was featured at multiple festivals around the world, including Montréal and Montpellier.

In 1973 Bursztyn started teaching at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Film and Television Studies where, over the years, he guided and mentored countless filmmakers taking their first steps in the industry. At the same time, he also began publishing a series of articles and books about the art of filmmaking, including Face as Battlefield (Hakibbutz Hameuhad Press, 1991), and Intimate Gazes (Magnes Hebrew University and Haifa University Press, 2009).

Highlights of Bursztyn’s shorts, documentaries, and experimental film credits include Louise, Louise! (1968), The Fall of Mr. Fikus (1969), The Riddle of Mount Sinai (1974), Muhammad Will Reap [‘Muhammad Yiktzor’] (1976), Yeshayahu Leibowitz in Ma’a lot (1992), Ethics V (1992), Letters to Felice (1993), Guide for the Perplexed (2006), and Our Beds are Burning (2021).


Our Beds are Burning

Directed by Igal Bursztyn, 2020
המיטות שלנו בוערות

61 min.


Children of the Revolution

Directed by Igal Bursztyn, 2015
יתומי המהפכה

84 min.


Guide to the Perplexed (aka Philosophers)

Directed by Igal Bursztyn, 2006
מורה נבוכים

54 min.


The Glow

Directed by Igal Bursztyn, 2002

86 min.

Short Film

Letters to Felice

Directed by Igal Bursztyn, 1993
מכתבים לפליציה

28 min.

Short Film

Ethics V

Directed by Igal Bursztyn, 1992
תורת המידות

26 min.

Experimental Film

The Fall of Mr. Fikus

Directed by Igal Bursztyn, 1969
שקיעתו של אדון פיקוס

10 min.

Experimental Film

Louise, Louise!

Directed by Igal Bursztyn, 1969
לואיזה, לואיזה!

10 min.


The United Kibbutz Newsreel #3

Directed by Gidon Ucko
יומן הקיבוץ המאוחד מס

13 min.


Every Newcomer Increases Our Power

Directed by Avraham Heffner, Igal Bursztyn, David Kedem
אין זו אגדה: מעולה לעולה - כוחנו עולה

9 min.

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