The tape-recorded words “erase it” take on new weight in the context of history and war. When the State of Israel was established in 1948, war broke out and hundreds of Palestinian villages were depopulated in its aftermath. Israelis know this as the War of Independence. Palestinians call it “Al-Nakba” (the Catastrophe). In the late 1990s, graduate student Teddy Katz conducted research into a large-scale massacre that had allegedly occurred in the village of Tantura in 1948. His work later came under attack and his reputation was ruined, but 140 hours of audio testimonies remain. Director Alon Schwarz revisits former Israeli soldiers of the Alexandroni Brigade as well as Palestinian residents in an effort to re-examine what happened in Tantura and explore why the Nakba is taboo in Israeli society. The now elderly ex-soldiers recall unsettling acts of war while disquietly pausing at points they either don’t remember or won’t speak of. Audio from Katz’s 20-year-old interviews cuts through the silence of self-preservation and exposes the ways in which power, silencing, and protected narratives can sculpt history.
Co-sponsored by Ron Abileah and Marlene Winograd
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