When skepticism first emerged about Hamas terrorists’ gruesome attacks against Jews in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces compiled 45 minutes of gruesome images – most of them taken by the perpetrators – of murders, beheadings, rapes and other atrocities against Jews adults and children. The footage was initially shown to world leaders, ambassadors and journalists covering the attack and the Israeli Defense Forces’ subsequent response, and will be shown at screenings in Hollywood and New York this week.
Several Jews in Hollywood spoke to me to find out if I was among those torn about subjecting themselves to footage shown without commentary and the only sounds coming from terrorists committing the atrocities the victim who believed something like this could never happen again. At the moment only the screenings are taking place this week. The date and location have not been announced for security reasons, but it won’t be difficult to find a ticket for those who need one. But I wouldn’t be surprised if more demonstrations followed. The film is titled “Bearing Witness,” a phrase often used about the Holocaust. The screening’s organizers, who worked with the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee to put it together, hope it dispels skepticism about the events of Oct. 7, in which 1,400 people died and 240 were taken hostage , and that they remember that this is the case The attack is the reason for the ground war currently being waged in Gaza, resulting in death and suffering.
I spoke to Guy Nattiv, the Oscar-winning Israeli filmmaker, whose film Golda dealt with Golda Meir’s attempts to save Israel from destruction in the 1973 Yom Kippur War and her films skin And Stranger have addressed anti-Semitism and hatred in other forms. He will be the public face of these performances. I asked him why he actively offers political dignitaries, entertainment executives and local officials unmissable footage. He said it brings full circle an appreciation that his Holocaust survivor grandfather Ruben Monowitz instilled in him: what happens when people are allowed to shrug their shoulders and marginalize or devalue barbaric violence.
“I will return to the Holocaust, to my grandfather,” Nattiv said. “He was sent to Auschwitz with his family. And when he was 60, the only survivor of this terrible Holocaust – Ruben managed to escape, but was sent to a forced labor camp, but was spared – he took the grandchildren with him to Poland again when he was 60. He took us all with him. And as we stood there in Auschwitz, he said to me: Look, I hate the Germans, the Nazis, for what they did to me. But I hate the Poles even more because they didn’t say anything. They saw me and my family, the atrocities, and they said nothing. They waved at us as we were loaded onto these trucks. And the world said nothing when these atrocities happened in Europe. And he said, “Boy, you as a filmmaker, I’m telling you, now you as a filmmaker never have to use your voice again to bring back to people the atrocities and show what happened.” October 7th brought me back to the Holocaust , as it happened: children, babies, women, raped, burned, alive, beheaded. And people don’t believe us. Even now it’s the same scenario: it didn’t happen. I have a Palestinian friend who is a good guy and read about the rave party on the internet and that people just ran away and weren’t killed. There were a lot of lies out there. I was so outraged.
“To be able to show this raw footage to the world… it doesn’t matter if it’s LA, New York or Japan, people need to see what happened. This is a holocaust. This isn’t just one incident. My grandfather gave me this kind of mitzvah… I don’t know the right word for it, but he gave me the mission to bring the truth to the world. And that was my cinema with the short film skinand the function Golda. I make a cinema that tells true stories about the world we live in. That’s why this performance is not just for Jews. This screening is aimed at everyone in the industry. And it goes from filmmaker to filmmaker, storyteller to storyteller.”
Nattiv said his grandfather had a family of 16 people, sisters, brothers and mothers. “Everyone died. And I have two sides of the family. So I have the Romanian side and he is the Polish side. So they all perished. And my grandparents were the only survivors.
“When I email a filmmaker, I’m writing as a filmmaker, as someone bringing truth to the world,” he continued. “That is my goal here. To show where it all started. The atrocities, the mini-holocaust that happened there, makes us as a nation, we as a world not stand still and remain silent and just carry on. But that doesn’t mean I’m not pro-Palestinian. I am for a two-state solution. I have Palestinian friends. I’m a left wing filmmaker, but this isn’t a left wing or right wing thing. This is just something the whole world should see. So that’s my mission.”
I ask Nattiv about the inevitable outcry that echoes what many are posting on social media complaining about footage of casualties of the ground war in Gaza aimed at destroying Hamas and releasing hostages.
“I don’t undo anything that happens to other people,” he said. “I mourn for every person who loses their life in this war. It’s terrible. This should be seen, everything out there should be seen and this scrutiny does not disqualify other people’s misery.”
The footage, he said, was culled by the IDF and approved by the families of the victims featured in it. It’s an eerie parallel to footage that was only seen around the world after Germany’s defeat in World War II.
“After the Holocaust, there was a series of raw materials that were shown to the world,” he said. It wasn’t really a documentary, but rather raw footage compiled after 1945, all the footage the Americans had shot, or the footage the Germans found. They put it together and showed it to the world. That’s exactly what we do. That’s what the IDF did. This is the same footage they showed the government.
“There are two forms of videos; One is from the helmets of Hamas terrorists found when they were killed by IDF troops. Some of it is CCTV, such as home television, video cameras from the houses that recorded everything that happened in the house and outside the house, and rescuers who came after the massacre as they took their videos. So everything is documented by real cameras.”
There’s a cruel irony here, the idea that the hot ticket in town might be a movie no one wants to see. I suggested that those who see it will feel the way you do when you visit the World Trade Center Memorial, Pearl Harbor, a Holocaust museum or camp. You don’t go there for fun, but somehow it seems important that you go and remember it.
“Look, can I tell you something else? “What you mean is the footage that people have told me, don’t worry, this will never happen again,” Nattiv told me. “When I was working on it Golda, I met with all the commanders of this debacle because it was a failure. And every commander I spoke to told me: Yes, it happened when you were born, in 1970. It will never happen again. We are much smarter and learn from it. And guess what? It happened again. When they told us about the Holocaust, they said they would never burn Jews again. Guess what? It happened again. And the world doesn’t believe us. It’s like coming full circle to 1939-1945. It’s madness. So it’s not just about a terrorist attack. This is a holocaust. And that’s why, as a third-generation Holocaust survivor and as a filmmaker living in the United States as an American, it is my duty to bring it to the world. I’m just disappointed about it.”
“It is important for an audience beyond traditional journalists and elected officials to see and bear witness to the horrific atrocities perpetrated by Hamas on October 7,” said Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, IDF spokesman. “We are in an existential battle for the truth. Every person must help spread the truth and counteract the denial and distortion that we unfortunately already see. We must look evil in the eyes and have the moral clarity to unite against terror.”
Source : deadline.com