Carmel. 2009. Israel/France/Italy. Written and directed by Amos Gitai. With Amitai Ashkenazi, Ben Eidel, Eliran Eyal. 35mm. In French, Hebrew, Arabic; English subtitles. 93 min.
The history of Amos Gitai’s family is intimately bound up with Israel’s own fractious history. In his densely collaged film poem Carmel, Gitai interweaves autobiography with reenactment. The letters of his mother Efratia, recited by Rivka Gitai (the filmmaker’s wife) and performed by the actress Keren Mor, are interwoven with the ancient Jewish historian Josephus’s famous account of the Roman siege of Jerusalem, narrated by Jeanne Moreau; and Amos Gitai’s own experiences as a soldier shot down in a helicopter during the Yom Kippur War are juxtaposed with his encounters with strangers and his own children in an Israel that seems to be turning ever inwards. Print courtesy Kino Lorber