Amos Gitai, who has produced a wide range of films on memory, identity and history, demonstrates in his latest film the ability to reinvent his own cinema. Despite being considered one of the pioneers of documentary as the search for truth in conflict, Ana Arabia records fiction in reality, putting forward a reflection on the ways of narrating in cinema.
The film captures a moment in the life of a community of marginalised Jews and Muslims living in a place located on the border between Jaffa and Bat Yam, in Israel. The research of the journalist leading the story unearths the daily life, memories and desires of the inhabitants in this enclave, whilst also showing identity that is oblivious to stereotypes. Thus, Ana Arabia explores a theme that is dealt with in previous films, for instance the trilogy made up of Wadi (1981), Wadi, Ten Years Later (1991) and Wadi Grand Canyon (2001). Yet, in contrast to those three documentaries, the film is characterised by the use of a complex staging mechanism, whereby time is one continuous sequence-long shot, place is real and the performances, though acted, are based on literary fragments and news stories. As a whole, Ana Arabia looks to explain a kind of continuity – the survival of a utopia.
The premiere of the film in Spain with Amos Gitai in person, the screening concludes Biography, History, Territories, the retrospective devoted to the film-maker that accompanies the film program shown by the Filmoteca española (the Spanish Film Institute) and the Museo’s own monographic exhibition.