Director Dani Levy made four short films in the Holy City using a specially designed camera construction.
In the films FAITH · LOVE · HOPE · FEAR, the spectators are sometimes observers, but sometimes the film addresses them and draws them right into the scenes. They experience the city in all its ambivalence and intensity – with immediacy and a sense of immersion. The episodes tell stories of life at a focal point of the Middle East conflict, from both Israeli and Palestinian perspectives. They highlight day-to-day tensions in the city. At the same time, they show the dry, Jewish humor that audiences of Dani Levy movies like Go For Zucker know so well.
FAITHPolitical comedy is part of the Jewish culture. But left-wing comedians have a hard time in today’s Jerusalem. This scene was shot in public. Most passersby did not know that we were filming.
LOVEFor many Palestinians normal relations with Jewish Israelis are a taboo. This political position is called anti-normalisation. For the Palestinian actress in this movie it was inappropriate to smile or flirt with the Israeli actor.
HOPEFor many decades, Christians from all over the world with the Jerusalem Syndrome were regular guests in the city. There were even special psychiatric wards for all the Jesuses who visited Jerusalem.
FEARThe Parliament building in Abu Dis is the beautiful, sad monument of a missed opportunity. You can jump the fence and visit the construction. For the movie we did not get the permission to shoot the scene with Arafat. The building you saw is an alternative location.
The 360-degree VR technology used by Levy offers an all-round view of life in the divided city. Each of the five- to eight-minute films was shot in a single take: scenes featuring a stand-up comedian on Zion Square, a soldier at a checkpoint, or alongside a sniper above the Old City rooftops. “The scenes are shot for real, just like a feature film. And yet it is a completely new visual experience,” director Dani Levy says of his experiment with the new technique.