Ghostly Testimonies: Re-enactment and Ethical Responsibility in Contemporary Israeli Documentary Cinema

Raz Yosef, Yaara Ozery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter examines the civic ethical role played by contemporary Israeli documentary film artists in representing testimonies related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It discusses the special use of documentary re-enactment in depicting those testimonies, focusing on the film <i>Testimony</i>. The performative re-enactment in this film has a spectral power to retrieve the voices and bodies of the original testimonies and witnesses to which no listener had been found and, at the same time, to give them a new form, unveiling the ghostly presence of hidden and silenced historical pasts of Palestinians and Israelis, Arab and Jews, as well as of Arab-Jews, haunting both the film and the viewers. The artistic civic role that the filmmaker has taken upon himself is to encourage spectators to bear witness and take ethical responsibility for the lost stories we did not wish to see and which we wanted to forget.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtistic Citizenship
Subtitle of host publicationArtistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis
EditorsDavid James Elliott, Wayne D. Bowman, Marissa Silverman
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9780199393749, 0199393745
StatePublished - 2016


  • Re-enactment
  • Testimony
  • Ethical responsibility
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Arab-Jews


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