BACK UP The films

Haïm Adri / Sisyphe Heureux Company

The project began in 2002 with a long series of meetings and informal conversations with Palestinians and Israelis.  This time was set aside for finding stories and ways of seeing, looking for personal accounts without presupposing the themes that would emerge.  A time for getting to know the protagonists in their own territory. 

Some meetings were repeated over the course of various visits and as time passed, four identities began to stand out. These eventually became the motif of the filming, which was carried out with a hand-held camera.

In all, some ten hours of interviews and movement sequences were filmed and used to compose a narrative stream for each character, which was used to guide the final editing process.

In this way each film became an amnesiac witness and a source of identity, and the films were then used to construct the four characters that inhabit the performance piece.

The films obviously did not aim for the documentary objectivity of a reality show, but to create an imaginary that, in formal terms, stands somewhere between reality and fiction.


J'ai vu où la terre écume

Nada Natour
In the very first meeting Nada already presented herself by saying she suffered from the sickness of dance... As she spoke, the story of a life lived in permanent exile unfolded - the story of a Druze family that moved from Lebanon to Galilee, a childhood shut away in a monastery followed by life in a kibbutz, and now in the city of Daliat in Carmel... always dreaming another place...
Nada tells us all this with her body inhabited by Mr Parkinson...  Nada identifies with the elements; Nada carries this land that trembles within her, this still land that is waiting for the sun.
Nada teaches comparative literature, she was the first Arab-Israeli woman to graduate from university and she co-founded the Israeli communist party.  She is the wife and muse of the Palestinian playwright Salman Natour.

Mon petit pays avec 2 grandes moustaches

Hanna Abu Hussein

In her work, Hannan, a visual artist and performer, questions the history of Palestinian women through her body and its most intimate folds. Hannan, like her work, uses strength, humour and sensuality to evoke the shocked history of that body that has been marked by tradition and the occupation. An onion-body; an evolving body, a body that travels between all these walls.

Le roi est nu

Tal Haran

I joined the Israeli military service in 1917 says Tal, referring to the year of the Balfour declaration and the birth of her father, which was also the start of a life marked by family Zionism and by the indelible imprint of a father who was a militant, a military man and a member of the militia...
Photographs bear witness. We see a man on the edge of a cliff. In his arm he holds a little girl, defying the void, holding on tight to her father, who is smiling at the camera.  Her mother took the photograph.  Tal was four years old.

Et j'ai guetté le firmament

Taher Najib

A week without sleeping: his mother is dying. A week with only a diary in which to write his story to keep him company during long nights of insomnia.  A week facing clinical death:  his mother still there, but already so far away. Leaving. Taher does not resign himself to the separation, he doesn't sleep.  In his notebook he writes every fragment of a somnambulist memory:  a phone call, a suicide on line 18, another suicide. Terrorist attacks. The story of a present that is on hold and a future that he sees approaching from this window on the fifth floor of the hospital in Haifa, facing the sea. The floor closest to God.