Dissolves

22 Minutes and 14 seconds , 1988
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Directed by: Avraham Heffner
Production: Israel Film Archive/Jerusalem Cinemateque
Cast: Aliza Rozen, Ilan Dar, Yoav Goren, Yitzhak Laor
In December 1987, the (first) Palestinian Intifada broke out and the Occupied Territories were set alight with a mass wave of demonstrations, protesting the ongoing Israeli occupation – the largest scale, longest-running ones seen in the area since 1967. The IDF was sent in to quash the uprising and before long, TV screens across the country were inundated with footage of burning tyres, stones thrown about, and baton-wielding Israeli soldiers chasing after teens and children. In the face of this new reality that made the question of the Occupied Territories the single most pressing issue of the time, the Jerusalem Film Festival went ahead and commissioned the following project. The result is a classic, Heffner-esque film – an intelligent labyrinth containing the most fundamental of Israeli tropes: The Holocaust; Arabs; us vs. them – all of which find themselves clashing and intermingling, and ultimately rendering the viewers helpless and cringing with awkwardness. With the passage of time (following the Oslo Accords and the later, Second Intifada) the otherwise paper-thin Heffnerian sense of irony is given a considerable boost which endows some of Heffner’s own insights and observations with additional and at times, oppositional meanings. Either way, this is a poignant, hard-hitting film that is well worth one’s time and attention.
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