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Artistic CitizenshipArtistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis$
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David Elliott, Marissa Silverman, and Wayne Bowman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199393749

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199393749.001.0001

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Ghostly Testimonies

Ghostly Testimonies

Re-enactment and Ethical Responsibility in Contemporary Israeli Documentary Cinema

Chapter:
(p.272) 14 Ghostly Testimonies
Source:
Artistic Citizenship
Author(s):

Raz Yosef

Yaara Ozery

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199393749.003.0014

The chapter examines the civic ethical role played by contemporary Israeli documentary film artists in representing testimonies related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It discusses the special use of documentary re-enactment in depicting those testimonies, focusing on the film Testimony. The performative re-enactment in this film has a spectral power to retrieve the voices and bodies of the original testimonies and witnesses to which no listener had been found and, at the same time, to give them a new form, unveiling the ghostly presence of hidden and silenced historical pasts of Palestinians and Israelis, Arab and Jews, as well as of Arab-Jews, haunting both the film and the viewers. The artistic civic role that the filmmaker has taken upon himself is to encourage spectators to bear witness and take ethical responsibility for the lost stories we did not wish to see and which we wanted to forget.

Keywords:   re-enactment, testimony, ethical responsibility, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Arab-Jews

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