Avenge But One Of My Two Eyes

- by Alexander Jones -

This is the fourth in a series of reviews of Israeli and Palestinian movies. You can also read about Five Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, or In Between, and please let us know what you think in the comments below.

Although shown at the Cannes film festival, Avenge But One of My Two Eyes is really more an interesting composition of two contrasting sets of footage that a movie in the classic sense. The director, Avi Mograbi, lets the people he films do the talking by very simply shooting three contrasting stories. There is almost no editorial fuss here, to the point where the film has no narrative, and it relies on the audience to appreciate the message without it being shoved down our throats. To mind, it is in fact a little too 'hands off' and could do with something a little more obvious tying the themes together.

One part is a collection of footage showing Palestinians interacting with the occupying Israeli army. Mograbi compiles many small examples of daily humiliation, frustration and delay. Interspersed throughout is footage of Israeli tour guides retelling the legend of the last Jews who revolted against the Romans, and their supposed mass suicide in the desert fortress of Masada. This is one of the founding myths of Israeli Zionism and you can learn more about it on our 3-times weekly Dead Sea and Masada tour. The final part shows Israelis, both secular and religious, discussing the importance of the hero Samson. The film makes no commentary on these separate parts whatsoever, and simply leaves them here side-by-side for us to contemplate.

You too can contemplate this film, because it has generously been put online for free, in its entirety, with English subtitles. Many thanks to Green Olive supporter Jeanne Clarke for the recommendation. Let us know what you thought in the comments below.


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