The Holy Black Land
Das Heilige Schwarze Land
Within the Israeli population, difference is constituted by the Ashkenazi, from Central and Eastern Europe and the Sephardim from the Mediterranean region. Within this congregation the black Falasha Jews from Ethiopia are both excluded and further alienated. The black minority is excluded. A cinematic inventory.
2-channel video by Nira Pereg , Israel 2004/5, 5.06 min, French/English OV
A split screen: to the left, images of Tel Aviv, to the right, the face of Jean Michel Bolima Amesi, a political refugee from the Congo. Michel’s memories of his hometown, Kinshasa, accompany the camera on its journey through Tel Aviv in such a way that times and places flow into one another.
Documentary by Ziv Even Tsur, Israel 2005, 75 min, English subtitles
At Eshbal boarding school - on a hill in Galilee - young socially committed kibbutz inhabitants meet young people from Ethiopia whom no other institution wants to take on. Israel’s Ethiopian community, which is still very young, is considered a ‘high-risk’ group which shows all the symptoms of impoverishment and marginalisation that lead to alcohol and drugs abuse. However, as boarding-school life shows, these young people - like the kibbutz dwellers, too - are trying to find a place in Israeli society: each in their own way.
James' journey to Jerusalem
Feature fim by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz , Israel 2003, 90 min, English subtitles
In the imaginary village of Entshongweni, very far from western civilization, the young James is chosen to undertake a mission - a pilgrimage to holy Jerusalem. But Israel is no longer the Holy Land that James and his people imagined. At the airport, James is suspected of trying to infiltrate the country in order to work illegally. He is jailed and destined for deportation. Inside the dark cell, as James prays to God to allow him to complete his mission, a miracle occurs. A mysterious stranger posts bail for him. But it soon becomes clear that James' freedom has come at a price - his savior is a manpower agent, who rescues illegal migrant workers in exchange for employing them in hard labor jobs. From then on, James' journey to Jerusalem turns into an unpredictable journey through the cruel heart of our economic system. With good teachers, a bit of luck and some lateral thinking, James learns the tricks of the game and plays it towards an inevitable end.
Nira Pereg, artist, born in Tel Aviv in 1969, lives and works in Israel and Germany. Nira Pereg first studied at the Academy of Art and Science at the Cooper Union Institute in New York and later at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Nira Pereg has exhibited works at the international video-art biennales in Tel Aviv (2002) and Lisbon (2003), as well as at the 1st TransChina Video Festival in Beijing (2003). This year, her works are being shown in exhibitions at the Tokyo Gallery (Tokyo), the Israel Center of Digital Art (Holon) and the transmediale 05 in Berlin. Nira Pereg currently holds a guest professorship at the ZKM (centre for art and media), Karlsruhe.
Ra’aan Alexandrowicz, director, born in Jerusalem in 1968. From 1991 to 1996, he studied film at the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem. He has directed music videos and produced a number of documentaries, including the highly acclaimed documentary The Inner Tour (2001). In 2003, he made his first feature film: James’ journey to Jerusalem.