17 July 2018

news > Avi Mograbi, screening of movie "Avenge but one of my two eyes"
Avi Mograbi, screening of movie "Avenge but one of my two eyes"

Thursday, December 1st
Museum "25 May ", Botićeva 6
17:00 Screening of the film Avenge but one of my two eyes and a conversation with filmmaker Z32, Avi Mograbi


“O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee only this once, that I may be avenged of the Philistines. O God, avenge but one of my two eyes”.

Thus Scriptural Samson, bound with fetters of brass to the pillars of the temple of Dagon, calls unto his Lord a moment before he brings down the house upon thousands of his enemies and torturers, and upon himself. This call for vengeance still echoes in the Middle East. Samson, the hero of a Hebrew founding myth, is the Palestinian suicide bomber of our time. “We’ve chosen death over a life of slavery”, calls Elazar Ben Yair, the Zealot leader, in the year 73 AD to his 967 besieged followers up on the hill of Masada, and tells them to die rather than be captured by the Romans. And in besieged El-Bire, during the “Defense Wall Operation”, the aggressive counter-attack of IDF on the occupied territories during the “El Aqsa” Intifada,  Issa, a Palestinian man, who would never wield a weapon more dangerous than a camera, is imprisoned for weeks at home under curfew and the only relief he can find lays in the suicide bombers.
A family is sitting at a wooden table near Samson’s tomb, modelling his story in clay. A hemorrhaging woman asks to cross a checkpoint to a waiting ambulance, and a metallic voice issuing out of an armored vehicle tells her to go away. A group of Jewish boys and girls from Britain, on top of Masada at sunrise, are ordered by the guide to close their eyes and imagine their besieged forefathers. Soldiers in Shavey Shomron checkpoint encircle the director, stretch out their hands again and again to remove his camera, then abruptly leave.  An old Palestinian woman who wants to visit her daughter on the other side of the Seperation Fence has been waiting for hours near the closed gates, finally breaks down and wishes she was dead. Young Jewish religious revelers who gather near Samson’s tomb late at night with a bonfire and a guitar are dancing, praising Samson the avenger, the strongman, the hero who slaughtered the Philistines. Scores of Palestinian schoolchildren, are standing at midday across the Fence, waiting for the cruising military unit to open the gate so that they can go home, but the soldiers are just standing there and don’t open it…

“Avenge But One of My Two Eyes” is a ramble between three arenas at the height of the “El Aqsa” Intifada: the pracice of the Masada cult, reinvented in the mid-forties of the twentieth century and interwoven with the leading Zionist discourse; the condition of oppression and besiegement of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories; the continuous religious and secular cult of Samsom, aka “Samson the Hero”. Real places, times and situations penetrate one another and integrate, presenting the Israeli reality as it is: embroiled, violent, suicidal.

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