Film Archive

Jahr

Sections (Film Archive)

Phoenix

Documentary Film
Israel
2018
69 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Anat Tel
Anat Tel
Alberto Shwartz
Emmanuelle Mayer
Noam Amit
Anat Tel
Rotem Dror
Ahfrahn Phoenix grew up among the African Hebrew Israelites in the Israeli town of Dimona. He was excluded from the community when he began to talk openly about the fact that he was raped repeatedly by a member of the community as a child. In his early thirties now, he is trying to carve out a present for himself despite the trauma of the past, in conversations with his parents and other victims of abuse from the religious group in Dimona.

“I’m riding a bike that I can’t manage to get off of,” that’s the metaphor Ahfrahn Phoenix uses for the memories he can’t shake off. Alternating between conversations and self-reflexive moments, the protagonist’s inner turmoil is reflected in the film’s images. The Israeli documentary filmmaker Anat Tel follows him on his way from surviving to living in a portrait of great intimacy which also raises fundamental questions about how to deal with sexual abuse in closed communities.

Fabian Tietke
International Programme 2013
Ponevezh Time Yehonatan Indursky

The closed world of an orthodox Talmud university in Israel. Elite educational establishment, century-old rituals, community, and great pressure. “Beneath the Wheel” with kippa and torah.

Ponevezh Time

Documentary Film
Israel
2012
53 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Einat Pinsky-Goldschmidt, Talia Kleinhendler, Osnat Handelsman-Keren
Yehonatan Indursky
Ophir Leibovitch
Philippe Bellaiche
Tali Halter-Shenkar
Yehonatan Indursky
Yossi Appelbaum
The Ponevezh Yeshiva is one of the most renowned Talmud schools in Israel. More than 1,000 students study the Torah day and night. The daily schedule is strict, of course, or, as one of the Rabbis puts it: If you miss morning prayers only once you ruin everything. At first glance life in this elite boarding school gives one a feeling of security – the security of ultra-Orthodox century-old Jewish rituals and a life devoted to celebrating God. Every exception to the rule is an extremely delicate matter. When you look more closely, you see – and who wonders – insecurity among the adolescents and young men, coupled with the wish to distinguish themselves, for example through ambition. Because the individual is apt to be overlooked when everyone is equal. Many are under pressure. One student is urgently looking for a new study partner; another is coming to terms with his parents’ wish to find the right wife for him. A third feels like a stranger and lonely among his fellow students.
Director Yehonatan Indursky studied at Ponevezh himself, which enabled him to be the first to open a filmic window on this otherwise closed world. He does it with great sensitivity and intuition for his protagonists’ personal questions and desires. Thus his subject becomes not the school as such but the balance between the individual and the community.

Lars Meyer