House AND House in Jerusalem | Chicago Reader

House AND House in Jerusalem

Amos Gitai often uses specific situations to examine larger issues, and his film House (1980) and video House in Jerusalem (1998) use the same dwelling to explore Israel's complex history. In the first film Gitai skewers the country's colonialism by intercutting the owner of the house with the Arab laborers recruited from the occupied territories to rebuild and expand it; he also interviews its pre-1948 owner. (Israeli TV refused to show the film, and Gitai has only a video copy.) In House in Jerusalem, Gitai interviews the family of the Jew who owned the house in the earlier work and the last Arab family to have owned it, focusing on moderates who assert the common humanity of both sides and panning over homes and landscapes to remind us of their human significance. 140 min.

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