Happy birthday Mr. Mograbi

Avi Mograbi. 1999. France, Israel. vo Hebrew. 77’


The birthday of this video's fictional filmmaker, Avi Mograbi (also the name of the real director), is the same day as the 50th jubilee anniversary of the founding of Israel, a day observed by Palestinians as "Al Nakba" or the Catastrophe. Mograbi is hired first by Israeli television to film the events leading up to the jubilee and then by a Palestinian producer who wants him to film the ruins of Palestinian villages and towns in Israel. To make matters worse, he is enmeshed in a real estate deal with his neighbours and enraged buyers arguing over property boundaries. The collision of these three anniversaries, two film jobs and a dispute over property lines takes this fictional "documentary" into the depths of Israeli and Palestinian daily life and a shared 50-year history.