David Perlov: Retrospective

David Perlov, Diary, 1973–80, Israel, film still



A documenta 14 film program and exhibition
June 7–September 17, Grosses BALi, daily

When Israeli filmmaker David Perlov died, he left behind dozens of Hefte (Notebooks), filled with epigrams, texts for films, biographical notes, images interwoven with texts, and texts with images. Yet in the early 1970s, as commissions to make films became scarce and he found himself in a deepening creative impasse, Perlov started conceiving an alternative that was a new ethical and aesthetic way of his own: a Tagebuch, a Diary—not in literature but in film. To the then-local demand for a Zionist message devoid of complexity, Perlov responded with a prolonged autobiography, unfinished in principle… . Here an artist’s personal crisis touches a collective fracture: as Perlov began working on the film, the Yom Kippur War of October 1973 broke out. Its first signs were captured by his camera through a window—the anxiety of worshipers exiting the synagogue across the street and listening to the mobilization calls of the army reserves on their transistor radios. In the history of cinema, no precedent exists for a personal diary in which war is an integral part: here the intimate—generally identified with the space of the individual and the home—became radical, public, political.
—Galia Bar Or

Descendant of Hasidic immigrants who moved to Palestine in the nineteenth century and later left for Brazil, David Perlov was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1930. Determined to pursue an artistic career at the age of twenty-three he moved to Paris. There he studied art and began creating his own works, collaborating with figures such as Chris Marker and Jacques Prévert. Five years later, driven by Zionist ideas he immigrated to Israel and settled in Kibbutz Bror Haiyl, before moving to Tel Aviv where he lived and worked until 2003.

David Perlov: Retrospective presents the artist’s complete filmic Diary (1973–83), as well as other key television projects and experimental films accompanied by photographic works and drawings, all made between 1950 and the early 2000s.


10 am: Old Aunt China (1957), France, 12 min. English [German subtitles]
10:15 am: Memories of the Eichmann Trial (1979), Israel, 60 min. Hebrew [English subtitles]
11:15 am: In Search of Ladino (1981), Israel, 60 min. Hebrew/Ladino [English subtitles]
12:30 pm: Yavne Street (1994), Israel, 25 min. Hebrew [English subtitles]
1 pm: Diary, part 1 (1973–77), Israel, 55 min. English [German subtitles]
2 pm: Diary, part 2 (1978–80), Israel, 55 min. English [German subtitles]
3 pm: Diary, part 3 (1981–82), Israel, 55 min. English [German subtitles]
4 pm: Diary, part 4 (1982–83), Israel, 55 min. English [German subtitles]
5 pm: Diary, part 5 (1983), Israel, 55 min. English [German subtitles]
6 pm: Diary, part 6 (1983), Israel, 55 min. English [German subtitles]
7 pm: My Stills, 1952/2002 (2003), Israel, 58 min. Hebrew and English [English subtitles]

Please note that the David Perlov program will not run on July 20 and 21.

Special screenings with Yael Perlov on June 15 at 8:30 pm, and with Mira Perlov and Galia Bar Or on June 16 at 8:30 pm.

Posted in Notes on 06.07.2017
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