Holot is a detention centre in the Israeli desert near the Egyptian border. It houses asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan who can’t be sent back to their own countries, but who have no prospects in Israel either thanks to the country’s policies. Although it’s technically not a prison, the roll call three times daily and isolated location make it into a virtual one. Enter Chen Alon and Avi Mograbi, who decide to initiate a theatre workshop with these people in the most precarious of situations. Following the principles of the “Theatre of the Oppressed,” which sees itself as an aesthetic route to political and social change, scenes from the asylum-seekers’ own lives form the starting point for the process. This approach gives the asylum-seekers the opportunity to address their own experiences of forced migration and discrimination and to confront an Israeli society that has decided to view those seeking protection as dangerous infiltrators.
- Avi Mograbi
- Philippe Bellaiche
- Avi Mograbi
- LES FILMS D'ICI
- DOC & FILM INTERNATIONAL
Itches enough to make the complacent culprits... feel uncomfortable.
Israeli filmmaker and video artist Avi Mograbi was born in 1956 in Tel Aviv. He studied art and philosophy in Tel Aviv. After gathering his first experience assisting directors, his own filmmaking began in 1989. He is not only considered Israel’s most important documentarist, but also as a committed eyewitness of the Middle East conflict, an experimentalist, and avid reformist of cinematic language. His films have appeared at festivals worldwide. THE RECONSTRUCTION (1994) was named Best Documentary Film by the Israeli Film Institute while AUGUST: A MOMENT BEFORE THE ERUPTION (2002) received the Peace Film Award at the Berlinale and was chosen Best Documentary Film in São Paulo. DETAIL (2004) was screened in the Forum section of the Berlinale, honored with the Aprile Award in Milan, and, at the Ann Arbor FF, awarded the Micheal Moore Award for Best Documentary Film. AVENGE BUT ONE OF MY BLUE EYES (2005) was screened at Cannes FF and received the Amnesty Award as well as special mention at the IFF Rotterdam while Z32 (2008) received the Excellence Award at Yamagata FF. In 2009, the Akademie der Künste in Berlin awarded Avi Mograbi the Konrad Wolf Prize for his exceptional cinematic achievements. More recently, ONCE I ENTERED A GARDEN (2012) was awarded Special Jury Award at DocLisboa IFF while BETWEEN FENCES had its world premiere at the Berlinale Forum in 2016.