“Be Radical. Express Reality”

By Kinjal Sethia

Two things are very important in making a film—love and passion for one’s country and a critical assessment when necessary, said Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai at a press interaction. His objective behind making ‘Rabin- The Last Day’ (to be screened at IFFI) was to assess the impact that the assassination of a national leader has on the country’s history. The film would strike a chord with Indian audiences as this country too had  similar experiences—Gandhi’s assassination certainly impacted Indian politics. He wanted to capture how an act of violence influences a country’s contemporary history.
He emphasised that cinema is an opportunity to give back to society, as in the works of Ritwik Ghatak and Satyajit Ray which espouse social causes.
When asked for advice for young filmmakers, he said, “Learn architecture like me, rather than attending a film school! I think there is too much recycling in films. Budding film-makers should not imitate, but re-invent and pose new questions.”
Films cut across boundaries, and Gitai’s film ‘Kadosh’ dealing with the position of women in religion was well received even in Bangladesh. Talking about the recent right-of-expression issues in India, he opined that there should be freedom to speak the truth. As in the Middle East, the level of violence has reached such a level that there is no space for factors of peace.
Speaking on his film ‘Yom Yom’, he said— “Cinema should give a realistic portrayal of life, it should not reduce and simplify daily life. Cinema has to go deeper than media to understand reality.” He went on to differentiate the different roles by adding, “Politics is about finding equilibrium in problems. Artists need to be radical to express reality as it is. This is more important, as ideas have moved the world; it is not only about the machines.”
When asked if he would make films on the present ISIS crisis he retorted that he did not want to rob Arab filmmakers of this subject. n

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