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Ten years after his first Wadi, Amos Gitai takes up again the tale of the inhabitants of Wadi Rushmia. The former protagonists are still there. Their living conditions have deteriorated and new Russian immigrants have arrived and settled. The circumstances and individual stories reflect the political and social situation of the region, which has deteriorated.
La Sept (France), Agav Films (France), Channel Four (UK)
"Documentary film is used to this process which consists in going back on one's steps, filming the time that has elapsed, recording the traces of what has changed and the marks of what has remained. Gitai himself did it in 'House' and 'House In Jerusalem'. But 'Wadi", now "Wadi, Grand Canyon' with its third episode, is different. Because time in Israel is a strategic commodity, almost a military secret. For the imagination- with its political consequences- everything seems to take place in a condensed time space, with an urgency knowing neither past nor future, as if the 'young State' had been born yesterday,as if every instant created its own ideological model- the only historical perspectives being the legendary epic of Zionism and the dark horizon of the Shoah. But the history of Israel is already a long one, day after day, that of the unfortunate people who live through it. This statement is hardly an evidence, in an environment wholly animated by fantasies of control, of conquest, of an initiative ceaselessly intent on overthrowing innumerable enemies, on mastering the desert, on defeating ancient curses, etc. Recording time in its duration, side by side with those who, neither mystics, warriors nor pioneers, do not decide nor control anything, is, in this context, the most radical side step. Just listening to words, tones, changes in language and accent, silences, catching postures, looks, wrinkles on faces and stones, all this amounts to an act of intense and modest courage, and generates light. Making a film, the art of time and of recording, in this region where the audio-visual media- the perfect opposite- are the most densely concentrated, becomes by essence an extraordinary powerful critical work."
'Amos Gitai, Israel, Images, Diaspora, Akira Tochigi and Toshi Fujiwara, 2003, FilmArt, Tokyo
Festival & Awards
Florence : Festival dei popoli - 1991