When a mysterious and deadly explosion ripped through a Buenos Aires Jewish community center in 1994, it made headlines. But the case was never fully investigated and never solved. More than a decade later, in an effort tore claim the tragedy from oblivion, 10 noted Argentinean filmmakers decided to offer up their personal responses in the form of short films. The result is a kaleidoscope of visual and narrative interpretations that is by turns reflective, dramatic, wistful, investigative, beautiful and sad.
This unusual anthology features a breadth of filmmaking talent as diverse as Argentina itself: from Daniel Burman (Lost Embrace; Waiting for the Messiah, SFJFF 2001), whose contribution examines the lingering impact of the bombing on the neighborhood; to Alberto Lecchi’s fictional film set in a village far removed from Buenos Aires; to Carlos Sorin’s touching, minimalist homage. As an artistic response to an act of terrorism, the short films of 18-Jelicit themes that clearly resonate in post-9/11 America. But 18-J is also a unique glimpse into Argentinean life, both its vibrant Jewish world and the citizens of all social and economic strata who were equally affected by the bombing.
The film’s title marks the nearly forgotten date, July 18, 1994, but it also invokes the Jewish numerical equivalent of "life," a fitting and affirming note for this unique, collective memorial.
Daniel Burman was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 29, 1973.
In 1993, his short documetary "En Que Estacion Estamos…?" (In Which Station Are We…?) received UNESCO's Honorable Mention Award.
In 1994 his script "Ninos Envueltos" was given an award at the Annual Short Subject Film Contest of the Argentine Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (INCAA) and was filmed during the course of that year. The short was presented in 1995 as part of a feature film in episodes titled "Historias Breves" (Short Stories), which premiered at a film exhibition in the city of Buenos Aires with excellent public and critical acclaim.
In 1995, his film "Un Crisantemo Estalla En Cincoesquinas" was presented in numerous international festivals: Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale (Official Selection), San Sebastian, La Habana, Nantes, Russian International Film Festival (FIPRESCI Award) and Le Festival des Films de Monde in Montreal.
In 1997 he produced "Plaza de Almas" by Fernando Diaz, multiawarded at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival (Best Latin American Film, Audience Award), OCIC, and Best Film at the Chicago Film Festival.
In 1998, Burman produced Mercedes Guevara's "Rio Escondido".
In 1999 he was Executive Producer of the film "Garage Olimpo", a French-Italian-Argentine production directed by Marco Bechis, which was invited to Cannes '99 and was a winner of more than 20 international awards.
In 2000 he directed "Esperando Al Mesias" (Waiting for the Messiah), his second feature film, which was awarded a special acting prize for Enrique Pineyro at the Novo Cine Festival in Buenos Aires.,