The Politics of Representation: Documentary and Identity

Richard White Hall, Duke CampusAs Americans, we’ve grown accustomed to news of conflict in and around Israel. Journalistic newspaper and TV reports can only go so far, though, in showing the long-term human costs on the people forced to live through the violence. For a more personal, in-depth understanding, it’s important to hear the voices of those who call Israel home”boots on the ground,” as it were, in a dispute that’s as much over the soul of the country as the land.

Tonight at Duke, two of Israel’s leading filmmakers, Ram Loevy and Avi Mograbi, will lead a panel discussion on practicing their art in a politically contentious place and time. Loevy, a 1993 recipient of the Israel Prize, the country’s top honor, has been making fiction and nonfiction films for Israeli television for over 40 years. Khirbet Khizeh, which screened last week at Duke, tells of the forced expulsion of Palestinians from Israeli land in 1948. It caused a furor when it aired in 1978, as the Israeli supreme court had to step in to prevent the government from canceling the broadcast. Mograbi’s latest film, Z32, a “musical-documentary-tragedy,” was shown on Monday. It’s the story of a young Israeli army vet who’s haunted by the memory of his service, and it’s told with a postmodern brio that’s won Mograbi awards and acclaim at major film festivals. For the discussion tonight, Loevy and Mograbi will be joined by Israeli filmmaker Igal Bursztyn, UNC professor Yaron Shemer, Duke professor Rebecca Stein and Duke professor Shai Ginsburg, who organized the event. Admission is free. 7 p.m. at Richard White Hall on East Campus. Marc Maximov