Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Director Ron Havilio incorporated his own personal history into this six-hour, seven-part 16mm Israeli documentary covering Jerusalem's past. After participating in the fight to free Palestine from Great Britain, Havilio's father, Shlomo, became a diplomat, and the family lived in Paris, Istanbul, and Tanzania. At age 48, Havilio looks back over a Jerusalem that became the birthplace of his three daughters. Reaching even further into the past, the film combines old photos (some by Armenian craftsmen), rare footage and archival engravings with scenes of present-day neighborhoods in transition plus contemporary interviews. Havilo did his own hand-held camerawork, while his French-born wife Jacqeline handled the boom mike. With Havilio narrating in English, the film features dialogue in English, Hebrew, and French. It's available in an alternate French version, and there are also ones with Japanese and German subtitles. A popular presentation on Israeli TV, the 358-minute documentary was shown at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival and the 1998 Vancouver Film Festival.