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A film-diary shot in the occupied territories before and during the invasion of Lebanon. Field Diary also introduced what would become Gitai’s signature style: the long, lateral tracking shots that, as Yann Lardeau noted in Cahiers du cinéma, “become a question of morality…we never enter into the reality of the war, but we always remain on the edge of the scene”.
"Une ethique du travelling", Cahiers du cinema, February 1983
"The film consists of about fifty sequence shots conceived as autonomous 'capsules', mostly shot from a moving car as if this was an inseparable carriage, the moving base of the camera. The road is thus transformed into an endless traveling shot, stretching across the occupied zones, with pauses, occasional stops, slowing down, with emphatic moments. Here, more than anywhere else, the traveling shot becomes a question of morality. (...) We never enter into the reality of war, but we always remain on the edge of the scene, at a tangent to it. The camera constantly slides over its subject without ever penetrating it, attacking it, just like our eye slides over the surface of the screen. In that way, the camera reproduces within the film our real position as viewers. (...) From one shot to the other the opinions expressed do not make contact with each other but they end up outlining the image of the country's human geography, a torn image, caught between two antagonistic poles but not reducible to the expression of that opposition. While it is always easy to denounce a war, even to the point of becoming captivated by its fascinating spectacle of horror, Field Diary offers a civilian image of war. (...)