AVI MOGRABI - Z32 (2008)
A man and a woman, a couple, with their faces digitally blurred, try to get comfortable for a conversation. The filmmaker, wearing a stocking over his head, records a piece to camera about the film he is going to make and the ways he is going to have to conceal the identity of his subject. So a story of sorts begins to be teased out. The man has a dark past, and the woman is struggling to come to terms with an incident he was involved as a soldier during the 2nd Intifada. This film, then, is directly related to Avi’s work with the ‘Breaking The Silence’ project: an organization of ex-soldiers dedicated to collecting testimonies about their service in the Israeli Defence Force. However, rather than present his viewers with a conventional investigative documentary, Avi controversially lightens the film with a suite of songs in the manner of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill: “I’m harbouring a murderer inside my film…" he croons, "how can I sing about it instead of handing him in?…” As he has said of this film: “by the time you get Z32, you will have seen that what I am thinking in that film is precisely the issue of the cynicism involved in making political cinema.” Does Z32 avoid such cynicism? Or does it render the political in a way that is more ambivalent and affecting than the moral certainties more usually found in films that seek a political effect?