Docutext, the documentary film festival at The National Library of Israel, returns for its eighth edition, and true to our tradition, we've carefully selected a diverse lineup of new documentaries along with a few gems from years past. In between films, we invite you to check out our events program and enjoy tours of the library archives, filmmaker Q&As, talks by academic scholars, workshops, and a very exciting closing concert guaranteed to make this festival a truly unforgettable experience.
As this is The National Library's last summer in Giv'at Ram, this year's festival offers a unique opportunity to experience the library's wonderful reading rooms and collections before we say farewell to this historic building and move to our new home.
This year's opening film is "The Water Wells: The State is Our Homeland." 40 years ago, Moti Kirschenbaum arranged a meeting between three voices of one generation, giants whose words and worldviews shaped how we think about Israel: Amos Kenan, Naomi Shemer, and Amos Oz. In their deep debate, they exchange ideas and profound insights about us—Israelis—and the face and character of our country. Watching this film now, in the summer of 2022, is a powerful, even chilling experience. More relevant than ever, their words still resonate strongly 40 years later. After the screening, the three giants' children will meet on stage and discuss the same issues from their own generation's perspective.
The lineup also features "What's Happening to Me Lately?"—a film about Rivka Michaeli, a pillar of the Israeli entertainment industry, who will join us for a Q&A after the screening. Following the screening of "The Last Chapter of A.B. Yehoshua", we will be joined by Bilha Ben Eliyahu, his friend and a scholar of his work, who will talk about her get-togethers with this great novelist, who passed away this year.
During the festival, you will be able to tour Naomi Shemer's archive at the library, see the ideologies of Amos Oz and Amos Kenan reflected in letters and documents they had written; stroll among items that had been banned by dark regimes and hidden away, or had come within an inch of being burned, but were saved and brought to our library against all odds; and visit A.B. Yehoshua's personal archive to see his manuscripts, their pages still aflutter from the touch of his hands. Lastly, before we pack everything up and move to our new abode, this is your opportunity to visit the library's weird and wonderful collection of curiosities: from an incantation bowl to a 19th-century flogger and Montefiore's personal set of tefillin.
As part of the festival, we will host a seminar for documentary filmmakers and the general public. Entitled "Into the Archives," the seminar will explore the role of archive footage in documentary filmmaking and its contribution to the genre.
The War in Ukraine ruthlessly rages on. At this year's festival, we spotlight the Ukrainian border. This film track will open a window into the lives, identities, and hopes of civilians who have survived the tense and turbulent reality of the Ukrainian war zone for years.
The festival's closing event will take us back to Eviatar Banai's masterful debut album. Join us for a screening of "The Albums: Eviatar Banai," in which he looks back on the pain and vulnerability reflected in songs he had left behind many years ago. At the end of the screening, Eviatar Banai will come on stage once more, accompanied by a string quartet, and take us on a rare journey back to the songs that touched our hearts.
See you at The National Library!
Head of Culture and Education
Artistic Director, Docutext Festival
Artistic director and Festival director: Ruty Rubinshtein
Producer: Rotem Ben-Hamo
Content, events and festival website: Moriah Bar-Gil
Sales management: Doron Levin
Production management: Noam Gershler
Technical management: Assaf Glick
Production team: Shai Lavie, Nadav Stern
Marketing and Innovation Management: Amir Orni
Artistic Committee: Ruty Rubinshtein, Moriah Bar-Gil, Karin Rivkind-Segal, Yaara Ozeri
Graphic Design: Rotem Cohen Soaye, Dar Laor
Web Design: Nir Avigad
Festival Video Editor: Matan Abramovich
Digital Marketing: Modus
Lighting & Amplification: NSS
Construction: Mor Bamot
Branding: Ideo - Construction of Pavilions for Exhibitions
Safety: Shauli Engineering and Safety
Docaviv: Galia Bador, Karin Rywkind Segal, Yooki Ben Shaul, Moran Arzy, Shira Habaron
Israel Broadcasting Corporation: Billy Segal Gezelius
The Hebrew University: Shmuel Azaria, Itamar-Hanoch Tovi, Moshe Naor
National Library Staff: Dr. Hezi Amiur, Dr. Hagit Zimroni, Noa Reichmann, Matan Barzilai, Dafna Wiener, Naomi Schacter, Itzik Burshan, Irit Jacobowitz, Zack Rothbart , Shai Ben-Ari, Yaara Halevy, Dr. Ahava Cohen, Dr. Raquel Ukeles, Marcela Szekely
Public services staff: Orly Simon, Noga Ben Moshe, Tomer Hadad
The Staff of the Digital Division: Nati Gabbay, Liron Halbriech
Operations and Logistics team: Eyal Ben David, Yoni Kalati, Samer Nabulsi, Porat Sharabi, Imad Aburmila
Security team: Shmuel Guy, Yafit Hamawi, Shlomo Cohen
The National Library thanks the Jerusalem Foundation of Canada and the Samis Foundation – Seattle, Washington for their support of the festival.