By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Israeli filmmakers call for ceasefire

A group of Israeli film-makers took a stand against the current political conflict today at an emotional press conference at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

Filmmaker Keren Yedaya admitted she had thought of pulling her film from the festival before she spoke to the other directors. A tearful Yedaya noted that she is “the mother of two kids who suffer from the fear and panic of the threat of the missiles.”

In a statement [full version below story], the directors — Yedaya, Tali Shalom, Nadav Lapid, Efrat Corem, Shira Geffen, Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz, and Bozi Gete — said “in these violent days, it is impossible to talk only about cinema while ignoring the killing and horrifying events around us.”

“We are scared too. Some of us are parents. Our children are terrified of the code red sirens and of the thundering sounds of warfare. We do not seek revenge and do not believe in a military solution; this has proven futile in the past.”

Yedaya and Shira Geffen read names of children who have been killed in Gaza in the past week — which they noted was “not an act of provocation, it’s natural to give them a name and remember.” One of the children killed was just 18 months old.

The statement said: “Children living in Gaza today are our partners in peace tomorrow. The killing and horror we inflict only push any diplomatic solution further away.”

The group also attacked the Israeli media for being too one-sided. “Cameras here, in Israel, film and tell about the suffering and pain of Israeli citizens subject to missile attacks….A dialogue must be established, an acknowledgment of the suffering of the other. Today, we want to direct those cameras to the suffering of Gaza residents, men, women and children killed during the last few days. Those filming the suffering of Israelis should be courageous and honest enough to film the killing and destruction in Gaza as well, and tell that story as well.”

Although the film festival had mostly tried a business as usual approach during the past few days, but the film-makers noted “The ‘life goes on’ conception, by which surrounding events cannot and will not affect our everyday dealings, is morally impossible. In these terrible days, we as artists and creators expect from ourselves, the festival’s administration, the spectators and the media to use this event to issue a clear, loud cry for change.

“We call the Israeli government to cease fire; we urge it not to send our troops to be killed again, in another pointless, cruel military campaign; we call it to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Palestinian people and its leaders, to achieve a viable peace for both sides.”

A petition is likely to circulate for those who are in support of the statement. Nadav Lapid added: “I hope it’s a beginning and first step for Israeli filmmakers to become more active and influential as one body in Israeli political life.”

Shlomi Elkabetz, who teaches cinema at Sapir Film School near the Gaza border, said: “It’s important to say we try to use this stage and take a stand with the voice that is given to us as artists and creators…it’s important to us to bring to the surface what we feel and what many others feel. We hope it falls on ears that are not blocked.”

The death toll in Gaza stands at more than 150 people. Air raid sirens could be heard around the festival in Jerusalem this week, and many international guests cancelled their trips to the festival for safety or political reasons.

The full statement issued by the Israeli directors:

We, the undersigned, Israeli directors whose films participate in the Jerusalem Film Festival, believe that in these violent days, it is impossible to talk only about cinema while ignoring the killing and horrifying events around us.  

We are scared too. Some of us are parents. Our children are terrified of the code red sirens and of the thundering sounds of warfare. We do not seek revenge and do not believe in a military solution; this has proven futile in the past.

Children in Gaza do not enjoy the protection of the Iron Dome systems. They have no residential secured spaces, and no sirens.

Children living in Gaza today are our partners in peace tomorrow. The killing and horror we inflict only push any diplomatic solution further away.

Cameras here, in Israel, film and tell about the suffering and pain of Israeli citizens subject to missile attacks. They do this on a daily basis. It is important for us to state that we deeply sympathize with Israelis living in Southern Israel, who have found themselves in the battlefront. They are innocent men, women and children that have lived through an unimaginable nightmare for years. They are entitled to full protection, but there is another way! A dialogue must be established, an acknowledgment of the suffering of the other. Today, we want to direct those cameras to the suffering of Gaza residents, men, women and children killed during the last few days. Those filming the suffering of Israelis should be courageous and honest enough to film the killing and destruction in Gaza as well, and tell that story as well. The pain of Israelis and Palestinians is intertwined, and the first cannot cease as long as the other continues.

The “life goes on” conception, by which surrounding events cannot and will not affect our everyday dealings, is morally impossible.  In these terrible days, we as artists and creators expect from ourselves, the festival’s administration, the spectators and the media to use this event to issue a clear, loud cry for change.

We call the Israeli government to cease fire; we urge it not to send our troops to be killed again, in another pointless, cruel military campaign; we call it to engage in meaningful dialogue with the Palestinian people and its leaders, to achieve a viable peace for both sides.

Signed: Efrat Corem, Shira Geffen, Ronit Elkabetz, Keren Yedaya, Tali Shalom Ezer, Nadav Lapid. Shlomi Elkabetz, Bozi Gete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related images

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

newsletter+promo