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Golem--The Spirit of Exile


GolemÛThe Spirit of Exile
(Amos Gitai, 1992)
Photo courtesy Kino International

Golem--The Spirit of Exile
Amos Gitai, 1992

Cinematheque: Amos Gitai

<i>Film Comment</i>calls Amos Gitai"Israel's most internationally recognized filmmaker--and its most controversial,"and this nine-film retrospective includes some of his provocative works. Gitai uses both documentary and fictional styles to tell stories of Israeli life and the Jewish Diaspora, frequently daring to speak some unpopular truths. The Wexner Center has shown such recent Gitai films as<i>Kadosh</i>and<i>Kippur,</i>but this series provides an illuminating cross-sampling of his entire career, now entering its third decade.

Sun, Jan 13, 2002 2 PM

Set in present-day Paris, Golem explores the experience of exile in Jewish history and culutre.

Following the backlash against Field Diary (1982), a documentary on the escalating violence between Israel and Palastine, Gitai moved to Paris. While himself in exile, he began to address the subject in his films, here using ancient stories to explore the still-relevant subject of the Diaspora.

Gitai seeks modern meaning in the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi and in the Cabalistic legend of the Golem (here given female form and played by Fassbinder icon Hanna Schygulla). Dreaming of home but living in an increasingly inhospitable Europe, Naomi finds herself taking to the road with her daughter Ruth. Stunningly photographed by the legendary cinematographer Henri Alekan (Wings of Desire), Golem also features cameo appearances by directors Sam Fuller and Bernardo Bertolucci, plus a score by Simon and Markus Stockhausen. (105 mins.)

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