Conversation with an Imagined Israeli Filmmaker Named Avi Mograbi
This text sheds light on the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, and the complexity of its recent history, of drafting borders, mobility of individuals, and the concept of “the Enemy,” while simultaneously questioning what it means to be a documentary filmmaker today
In April 2010, during his residency at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Akram Zaatari attempted to write, improvise, and deliver a conversation with an imagined Israeli filmmaker, giving him the name Avi Mograbi. In this conversation, Zaatari revisits photographs he made in his teenage years during the Israeli occupation of his hometown, Saida, in 1982, and imagines what an Israeli filmmaker could have experienced in the same period. Zaatari draws on an idea that comes from the filmmaker Avi Mograbi, who invented the character of a Palestinian producer in his film Happy Birthday Mr. Mograbi, played by Palestinian producer Daoud Kuttab himself.