Z32, a documentary by Israeli filmmaker Avi Mograbi, constitutes a direct and clear criticism of Israel’s policies in Palestine. Like most of the director’s works, the documentary is rather experimental in form yet without blurring the issue. The main character, a young Israeli soldier, is let to present himself in a way as casual as it is shocking. He shares with us his experiences from his participation in a revenge-mission against a few random Palestinian policemen, who just happened to be on the wrong place at the wrong time. Masked and anonymous at the beginning (one of the many) gradually reveals his identity in front of the camera. He becomes an individual. Ordinary; familiar; initially, even likable. He doesn’t try to provoke us when he describes the operation as “a trip to the amusement park.” He seems quite easy with sharing his true feelings about the killings with his girlfriend. “My body is like a robot and… it’s thrilling.” He is puzzled by her negative reactions, since he does not consider himself responsible. After all, he was just following orders! “Baby, do you think I’m a murderer? “asks he, disarmingly naive. Like the classic Full Metal Jacket by Kubrick, Avi Mograbi attempts to tell the story of ordinary individuals against policies that transform them into murderers without them even realizing it. Yet, while the Full Metal Jacket remains masterfully impersonal, Mograbi’s narrative is interesting exactly because of its intimacy. He is, after all, an Israeli filmmaker daring to destabilize his own country’s familiar myths, focusing on acts and facts that refuse any notion of reason or excuse. In that sense, Avi Mograbi makes a brave political statement that deserves to be heard. Elektra Kostopoulou


Avi Mograbi

Avi Mograbi

Philippe Bellaïche

Avi Mograbi

Avi Mograbi

Noam Enbar

Best Documentary Gijon

15th Festival on Wheels