Forging Cinematic Identities: Eran Riklis

August 26 - September 11, 2015

Eran Riklis HeadshotEmory’s Department of Film and Media Studies is pleased to announce that the internationally acclaimed Israeli film director Eran Riklis will be the Emory University Schwartz Foundation Artist in Residence from Wednesday, August 26 through Friday, September 11. Riklis will present, introduce, and discuss three of his films, deliver three lectures on the history of Israeli Cinema, visit classes and supervise a student filmmaking project. All events are free, unticketed, and open to the public.  

Riklis is one of Israel’s most acclaimed filmmakers and has been working as a director, writer and producer for over thirty years.  He is best known in the United States for The Syrian Bride (2004) and Lemon Tree (2008); hisThe Human Resources Manager won five 2010 Ophir Awards (given by the Israeli Film Academy), including Best Film and Best Director, and was Israel’s official submission that year to the Best Foreign Film category of the Academy Awards.  His most recent film, A Borrowed Identity Identity (aka Dancing Arabs), had its American premiere at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival and opened this summer to uniformly strong reviews.

Eran Riklis’ residency is co-sponsored by the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Foundation Artist-in-Residence Fund, the Department of Film and Media Studies, the Halle Institute for Global Learning, The Hightower Fund of Emory College of Arts and Sciences, the Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, the Israeli Consulate of Atlanta, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the Department of History and the Department of Theater and Dance.  For more information, call 404-727-6761.

Wednesday, August 26 - ZAYTOUN (2012)

7:30 in White Hall 208

Zaytoun Poster

The personal is very political in this lively road movie set in 1982, and shot in alternately desolate and beautiful landscapes. An unlikely pair, a Palestinian teenage refugee Fahed (Abdallah El Akal) and Israeli Air Force pilot Yoni (Atlanta-born Stephen Dorff) leave Beirut together during the Lebanon War to return home: Fahed wants to plant his father’s small olive (zaytoun in Arabic) tree in his family’s home in the territories, and Yoni wants to return to Israel to fight another day.

Sunday, August 30th - THE SYRIAN BRIDE (2004)

4:00 in White Hall 208

Syrian Bride Poster

A dutiful Druse daughter living in the Golan Heights, Mona (Clara Khoury) prepares to marry a Syrian soap opera star across the border, a commitment that means, for political reasons, she can never return home.  Eran Riklis collaborated with Palestinian writer Suha Arraf to create this poignant tale that is fully alive to the absurdities of the conflict-ridden Middle East, where tradition and modernity, patriarchy and feminism clash. 

Tuesday, September 1 - Lecture: "Israeli Cinema: The Way We Were"

7:30 in Woodruff Library, Jones Room

Reception to Follow

Eran Riklis Syrian Bride

Israel is made up of a variety of origins and cultures—Jews who came from the East, West, North and South to a land that changed from Palestine to Israel in 1948, a land in which Arabs and Jews found themselves fighting to define their identity. We will look at how this multicultural society was reflected in early Israeli cinema.  Lead sponsor: the Halle Institute for Global Learning.

Wednesday, September 2 - LEMON TREE (2008)

7:30 in White Hall 208

Lemon Tree Poster

When an Israeli Defense Minister moves next door and demands for security reasons that it must be destroyed, a Palestinian widow (Hiam Abbass) struggles to save her family’s faltering but long-standing lemon grove.  Riklis and Arraf re-teamed to write this measured, sensitively told and beautifully realized story, with especially strong performances by Abbass and Ali Suliman as her attorney, who takes the government to court. 

Tuesday, September 8 - Lecture: "Israeli Cinema: Forging an Identity"

7:30 in Woodruff Library, Jones Room

Reception to Follow

Eran Riklis

Is it possible to merge numerous different cultures, religions, histories and politics in to one coherent voice? An Israeli voice? What is an Israeli voice? We will try to understand the new Israeli cinema that emerged in the 80's and how the Israeli identity is defined and re-defined. Lead Sponsor: Consulate General of Israel.

Thursday, September 10 - Lecture: "Of Conflict and Optimism: My Personal Cinematic Voyage"

7:30 in Carlos Reception Hall

Reception to Follow

Eran Riklis Camera

Conflict and optimism don't walk hand in hand but perhaps an optimistic outlook is the only way to look at and attempt to understand the roots of the conflict in the Middle East and how it's reflected on a local, regional and global level through the prism of Riklis' films. Lead Sponsor: Tam Institute for Jewish Studies.