Unreal Nature

February 4, 2016

Trapped by the Camera

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:50 am

… The camera has stimulated some kind of penetration to places she didn’t really acknowledge that she would go to.

This is from the essay ‘The Killer’s Search for Absolution: Z32, Avi Mograbi’ which is an interview between Mograbi and Joram ten Brink, found in Killer Images: Documentary Film, Memory and the Performance of Violence edited by Joram ten Brink & Joshua Oppenheimer (2012):

[ … ]

Joram ten Brink: The film [Z32] itself is such a radical shift from your initial idea, as you said. What you achieved here is a much more complex structure which actually gets us to a much more accurate understanding of the state of mind of a killer. Four ‘characters’ tell the story: the songs, the soldier, the girlfriend, and the film, as a film. There are four attempts to look at the story through different characters and protagonists. Although the girlfriend is in essence the protagonist of the film, we’ll come back to her later …

Avi Mograbi: She’s the most important. Without her …

JtB: Without her there’s no film.

AM: Yes. And it wasn’t my idea to put her in the film.

JtB: She’s the audience. She is ‘me,’ the viewer.

AM: Yes, yes. She’s you, but not the obvious you. Not the ‘Israeli.’ Most Israelis don’t identify with her. They identify with him. But yes, she’s definitely the audience, definitely the listener; the listener who asks difficult questions.

JtB: In the last shot, she brings the film back to me when she turns to the camera and looks at me.

AM: Yes. She looks at the millions watching her at home.

JtB: She hears the story and she cannot make sense of it. She refuses up until the last moment to forgive him and you don’t know if she will ever forgive him. She doesn’t say anything.

AM: She looks at the camera …

JtB: She looks at the camera, and says, ‘What do you think? Now you’ve seen the film; I presented it to you for the past ninety minutes, now what do you think? You, the viewer?

AM: I think she also looks at the camera as a kind of enemy because she’s trapped by the camera. … The camera has done much more than just be present in a private or intimate moment. The camera has stimulated some kind of penetration to places she didn’t really acknowledge that she would go to.

-Julie

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