Jewish Film Festival: Incitement

Sunday, Dec 6, 2020

Davie, FL 33324


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This rigorous psychological thriller by American-Israeli director Yaron Zilberman (A Late Quartet) depicts the lead-up to the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin through the worldview of his assassin, Yigal Amir.

In September of 1993, after decades of violence, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin announces the beginning of an era of peace between Israel and Palestine. The stalwart law student and Orthodox Jew Yigal Amir is outraged. As the peace negotiations become more and more concrete, overheated speeches among the opponents of Rabin become increasingly charged – and a fatal radicalisation takes its course. Israeli-American director Yaron Zilberman dramatizes the lead-up to the disastrous Rabin assassination from the perspective of the perpetrator, and blends a precise social study with original archive footage to create an atmospherically dense, and, unfortunately, still very topical, thriller.

Israeli-American filmmaker Yaron Zilberman (whose A Late Quartet played TIFF in 2012) sets out, with a rigourous, exacting gaze, to expose — through the eyes of Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir — the motivations that led to Rabin's death. Set in the year preceding the incident, Zilberman's meticulously crafted period piece is embedded in the world of Amir (portrayed with unsettling stoicism by Yehuda Nahari Halevi), moving from his family home to his failed relationships to his radicalization on illegal settlements.

At its core a psychological thriller, Zilberman's film also neatly weaves in archival footage, foregrounding the high political stakes of the era, and boldly showing the ways in which Israeli society incited one man to such deadly lengths. In this way, and with unflinching clarity, the film draws connective lines from the past to the present.

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