Avi Mograbi / 85’ / 2016 / Israel, Francia

Direction: Avi Mograbi
Production: Les Films d’Ici
Script: Avi Mograbi
Cinematography: Philippe Bellaiche
Music: Noam Enbar

Avi Mograbi’s last film is the outcome of a series of workshops held in the Holot detention facility, in the Israeli desert. The students make up a group of African refugees from Eritrea and Sudan who hope to be granted asylum in Israel or an authorisation to travel to another place where they would be received.
Mograbi includes himself in the film as a central character in the action, as well as the director of a theatre company and his small film crew. The camera shoots up close –and as part of the action– these performances by both Africans and Israelis. This particular camera work makes this film stand out as what could be described as “filmed theatre”. The gaze of the camera towards the subjects it is shooting is not that of the spectator, but that of another actor.

Israeli filmmaker and video artist Avi Mograbi was born in 1956 in Tel Aviv, where he lives and works to this day. Having studied art and philosophy, he gained his first production experiences working as an assistant director on commercials and feature films, while his own filmmaking career began in 1989. Since 1999, he has taught documentary and experimental film at Tel Aviv University and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

Mograbi, one of Israel’s most distinguished filmmakers, is known for his unwavering commitment to social, cultural and political justice in the Middle East, as well as his experimentalism and innovative contribution to cinematic language. As an engaged filmmaker, he is actively involved in “Breaking the Silence“ an organization dedicated to collecting the testimonies of Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Avi Mogrbi’s documentary films have been programmed by festivals worldwide, including: Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Rome, New York, FID Marseille, Vision du Reel and San Francisco, among others.