Udi Aloni’s Local Angel: Theological Political Fragments (2002) and Avi Mograbi’s Avenge but One of My Two Eyes (2005) are two documentaries that differ greatly in style. What they have in common, however, is a critique of the many ways and forms in which ancient myths of sacrifice and self-sacrifice are revived and enacted in Israeli society. Aloni’s documentary deals with the Biblical myth of the Binding of Isaac (the sacrifice of sons), examining the insidious effects of its appropriation and concretization on Judaism at large and on Israeli society in particular. Mograbi’s documentary engages with the story of Masada and the Biblical story of Samson (self-sacrifice/suicide and heroism). It creates a ‘Moebius strip’ structure, which generates a logic whereby the voices of the Palestinian suicide bombers echo the enacted voices of the people of Masada and Samson. Using a variety of cinematic devices, intended to problematize the notion and the different forms of enactment, both films impel the viewer to ask acute questions regarding the dire repercussions of the protracted revival and enactment of ancient myths, and their manifestation in the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
- (Self-) sacrifice and heroism
- Al-Aqsa intifada
- Ancient myths: Masada, Samson, the binding of Isaac
- Enactment destruction and redemption