Amos Gitai – Biography and Filmography

Amos Gitai - Biography and Filmography

Amos Gitai – biography and filmography

  Amos Gitai was born on 11 October 1950 in Haifa, Israel was born. Like his father, he studied architecture. The outbreak of the Yom Kippur War of 1973 interrupted his studies and Super-8 shots that he shot of helicopter missions that led to his career as a film maker.

, Gitai has produced exceptional, very personal and socially important work. In nearly 40 films, documentaries and feature films, Gitai has the characteristics of the history of the Middle East and beyond his own personal history discovered through such themes as homeland and exile, religion, social control and utopia. His trademark style includes long takes with scarce but significant camera movements and a devilishly clever sense of humor. In the late 70’s and early 80ties Gitai directed numerous documentaries, such as House (1980) or Field Diary (1982). At the same time, Gitai earned his doctorate in architecture from the University of Berkey – California.

After the controversial reception to Field Diary, Gitai moved to Paris in 1983, where he lived for the next 10 years. During this time he sat on a large scale continued his travels, and made documentary films like Pineapple (1983) – a humorous odyssey about the cultivation and marketing of pineapples. He also made Brand New Day (1987) – a film that Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics on their band toured Japan. During this time he also began directing fiction and historical films about the experience of exile, as the Venice Critic’s Prize Winner Berlin Jerusalem (1989) and the extraordinary trilogy on the Jewish legend of Golem (1991 to 1993).

The middle of the 90 years Gitai moved to Haifa and began the most fertile, productive period of his career to date. Over 10 years, Gitai directed over 15 films, documentaries and feature films. In 1995, the film Devarim (1995) marked a return to his home and his reunion with the light and landscape of Tel Aviv. He completed his trilogy of Israeli cities, which began with Devarim, shot with Yom Yom (Haifa, 1998) and Kadosh (shot in Mea Shearim, the neighborhood of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem, 1999). Other films followed, including Kippur (2000), Eden (2001), Kedma (2002), Alila (2003), Promised Land (2004), Free Zone (2005) and News from Home (2006 ).

Gitai’s work has been already highlighted the subject of numerous retrospectives, exhibitions at the Pompidou Center (Paris), NFT and ICA (London), New York’s Lincoln Center and in the film museums in Berlin, Madrid, Jerusalem, Paris, Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Toronto. His films are regularly invited to the official program of the major film festivals in Cannes, Venice and Toronto.

Filmography – Amos Gitai (selection)

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disengagement (separation)
Chacun son cinéma (segment: Le Dibbouk de Haifa)

News From Home

Free Zone

Promised Land


September 11 – 11’09”01
( #) 2001



Yom Yom

1995 (# ) Devarim

The Petrified Garden

Golem, the Spirit of Exile

Birth of a Golem
(# ) 1989


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