House: Between Space and Existential Question: A Study of the “House” Trilogy, 26.12.21
Transition, Crossing, Border: A series of talks with film director Amos Gitai
Third conversation between Amos Gitai and Prof. Eva Illouz
“Gitai achieves one of the most beautiful things a camera can document, supposedly “live”: people looking at the same thing but seeing different things, and their vision motivates them to action” (Serge Daney, Libération, 1982).
“House” follows the changes of owners and tenants in one house in West Jerusalem. After its owner, a Palestinian physician, left in 1948, the house was confiscated by the government of Israel under the Absentee Property Law, rented to a Jewish couple from Algeria, then bought by a professor from the university, who decided to renovate it. The previous tenants, who became construction workers, the new owners and the neighbors - all visit the renovation site. The film was censored and its screening was forbidden by Israeli television.
In “News from the House,” stories and memories from the film “House” in Jerusalem, filmed in 1997, and from the film “House” shot in 1980, are juxtaposed in a way that leads to a change of the original film. The space becomes a mental space and the site becomes a microcosm preparing for an internal or external exile. We witness the creation of a new Palestinian identity, a new exile identity.
This encounter will include screening of segments from the movies House (1980), A House in Jerusalem (1997), and News from the House (2005).
About the series:
In the Middle East, more than anywhere else, the work of the filmmaker resembles that of the archaeologist. It involves the cautious exposure of layers of life; examination of memories and stories from the past in an attempt to be relevant and to touch upon contemporary human issues. This raises the question: what happens to the cinematic aesthetic when it clashes with the principle of illustration? Does it then become/present a form of cinematic ethics? This question, along with the question of cinema in a constantly changing geopolitical context, will be discussed in the present series. The series is based on Gitai’s films and segments of them will be shown during the encounters.
Prof. Eva Illouz, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
Amos Gitai, An architect by training, graduate of the Technion and PhD from Berkeley University