1341 Frames of Love and War

Director Ran Tal expected to attend

“The most horrible things are sometimes aesthetic,” says Israel’s most celebrated war photographer Micha Bar-Am, who for decades was the country’s photo correspondent for The New York Times. For a year and a half, he and his archivist wife Orna allowed director Ran Tal (The Museum, SFJFF 2018) to enter their vast archive. As they mine this extraordinary trove of over 500,000 photos, the film seamlessly intertwines an historical narrative of a country with Bar-Am’s personal reflections on the psychological and personal toll of bearing witness to multiple wars. While the protagonist is generally quite forthcoming—frequently interrupted, corrected, or scolded by his wife—there are certain subjects which Bar-Am flatly refuses to discuss. Beyond this narrative tribute, the film offers a unique cinematic, visual and sensory experience that explores the relationship between sound and picture, and between movement and stillness. It explores how to imbue still photography with movement on the one hand, while freezing cinematic movement to distill meaning and emotion on the other. 1341 Frames of Love and War reveals the enormous price that comes along with documenting atrocities and wars while providing an intimate portrait of an artist and a meditation on memory, violence, and identity. It is a complex love letter to the beauty and horror of photographic imagery and to the country whose image Bar-Am helped shape.

Recipient of a 2021 JFI Completion Grant and Winner of the 2021 Albert & Judith Goldberg Award

California Premiere


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