Two of Israel’s strongest actresses, Ronit Elkabetz and Evgenia Dodina,
play two women who share a terrible bond. The film begins with their chance
encounter during an altercation between settlers and IDF soliders and a group
of Palestinian villagers harvesting olives. Leftist activist Lily (Elkabetz) stands
her ground, chastising the young men for their brutish behavior. Nira (Dodina),
a film editor involved in making a documentary about the conflict, looks on with admiration and realizes she has met this regal woman once before during a police lineup 20 years earlier when they both testified against a serial rapist.
Despite their dramatic differences, the two troubled mothers begin to forge an
uneasy but ultimately cathartic friendship. Based on real-life events, Invisible
builds slowly, like a crackling bonfire. Veteran documentary filmmaker and
San Francisco State University alumna Michal Aviad makes innovative use
of historical news footage in her first fiction film and incorporates taped
interviews with two of the women attacked by the so-called Polite Rapist, a
married father of three who assaulted 16 victims on the outskirts of Tel Aviv
in the mid-1970s. Fueled by the smoldering performances of its two stars,
the film explores the aftershocks of sexual violence with surprising restraint.
MICHAL AVIAD has been working as a director and producer of documentary films in San Francisco and Tel Aviv since 1986.
Among her films are the 1987 award-winning American documentary Acting Our Age (60 min, 16mm), which she produced and directed. The film explores women and aging and was part of many international film festivals including the U.S. Sundance Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival. The film was aired in many countries and was selected in 1988 to be the first program on PBS's P.O.V documentary series.
In 1992 Aviad produced and directed The Women Next Door (80-min, 16mm). Filmed during the Intifada, the film examines the roles of Palestinian and Israeli women in the conflict. The film was part of the Forum in the Berlin International Film Festival where it received Honorable Mention. It took part of many festivals including Jerusalem, Pesaro, Munich, Chicago, San Paolo, Portugal, and INPUT '93. The film was aired in many countries including a national broadcast on PBS's P.O.V. series.
In 1995 she directed Ever Shot Anyone? (produced by Amit Goren, 60-min, beta.) This documentary explores Israeli male culture from a woman's point of view. The video was part of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, Feminale, the Liepzig Film Festival, INPUT '96, London Jewish Film Festival, Washington Jewish Film Festival, Flaherty film Seminar and many others. It was aired in Canada, Israel, Holland, Denmark, Russia and other countries.
In 1997 Aviad completed producing and directing Jenny & Jenny (60 min Beta), a film on two teenage working-class Israeli girls. Jenny & Jenny was awarded Best Israeli Documentary for 1997 from the Israel Film Institute. It was part of the Jerusalem International Film Festival, Denver Film Festival, Boston Film Festival, Feminale, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, Films des Femmes in France and INPUT '98. To date it was aired in Germany, Sweden and Israel.
In July 2001 Aviad completed directing and co-producing Ramleh (60-min Beta, co-produced by Yulie Gerstel,) a social-political film about the lives of four women in the town of Ramleh. Ramleh, a Jewish- Arab town, is a powerful example to the disintegration of a country of displaced people torn by religious, national and cultural differences. The film premiered at the Jerusalem International Film Festival.
Currently Aviad is working on A Letter To My Children (co-produced by Yulie Gerstel), a personal film about the history and events in the life of one family of immigrants and refugees. This film, which is co-produced with Israel and ZDF-ARTE will be ready in Summer 2002.
Aviad teaches film production at Tel Aviv University. She is also the coordinator of the Tel Aviv International Students Film Festival.