Friday, September 11, 2015

Rabin: the Last Day - Bold, Courageous Film by Amos Gitai at Venice Film Festival

Amos Gitai - director Rabin: the Last Day
(Venice, Italy) I predict that Amos Gitai will win a major award at the 72nd International Venice Film Festival for Rabin: the Last Day. The film examines the conditions of sedition in Israel that led to the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin, the first native-born Prime Minister of Israel, on November 4, 1995 . Gitai said, "I don't think it was a conspiracy. I think it was written on the wall."


From the New York Times:

"The film is unambiguous about the forces it holds responsible: The extremist rabbis and militant settlers who damned Mr. Rabin for ceding land to the Palestinians that they considered part of their biblical birthright; right-wing politicians who were accused in the aftermath of having ridden a wave of toxic incitement against Mr. Rabin as they campaigned against the Oslo accords; and the security services that failed to protect him, despite the menacing atmosphere and the warning signs."

The film is factual, based on documents and transcripts, and probes the question who was responsible for the assassination? We know who pulled the trigger -- Eyal Yigal Amir, a religious fanatic, heavily opposed to the Oslo Accords. But what Gitai makes clear is that there was a concerted effort on the part of several radical forces in Israel that were against trading land to the Palestinians for peace at all costs which deliberately fomented an environment that allowed an extremist like Amir to thrive -- and get close enough to the Prime Minister to shoot him. "Three bullets that would change the destiny of our country," said Gitai.

GraphicMaps.com
Gitai said that Israel must recognize the Other, not ignore the Other. When Rabin decided to address the Palestinian situation, it was a step to address all the Arab neighbors that Israel must learn to live with. The Other exists, and peace must be made. Gitai respected Rabin because the Prime Minister tackled Israel's most complicated issue, and gave Israel a very brief moment of hope.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureates for 1994 in Oslo. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
From Indiewire:

"At the end of the short interview excerpt that opens "Rabin: The Last Day," the interviewer asks Shimon Peres, the man who succeeded Yitzhak Rabin as Prime Minister of Israel, a bold, hypothetical question: Would Israel be more peaceful and more stable if Rabin had not been assassinated by right-wing radical Yigal Amir back in November 1995? 

You listen for the conventionally cautious response typical to politicians —perhaps a reframing of the issue, perhaps a protest at the unanswerable nature of a what-if. It doesn't come. Instead, Peres looks straight back at the interviewer and says, levelly and immediately, "Yes." 

The Israel/Palestine conflict, with its intractable religious, ethnic, historical and cultural divides, is so complex and so deeply rooted that such a bold declarative statement doesn't just sound surprising: it sounds dangerous."


Gitai would like Benjamin Netanyahu -- Israeli's current Prime Minister, who, in the film, was just as opposed to the peace process twenty years ago as he is today -- to come to the opening of the film in Tel Aviv on November 4, 2015, the 20th anniversary of Rabin's assassination. "I'm not sure he would love the film, but let's see."

Ciao from the Venice Film Festival,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. I predict that Amos Gitai will win a major award at the 72nd International Venice Film Festival for Rabin: the Last Day. The film examines the conditions of sedition in Israel that led to the assassination of Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin, the first native-born Prime Minister of Israel, on November 4, 1995 . Gitai said, "I don't think it was a conspiracy. I think it was written on the wall."

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