Devarim is based on Yaakov Shabtai's novel, published in English under the title PAST CONTINUOUS, is one of modern Hebrew literature's strongest works. The novel explored, within a nine month timespan, the infinite range of sensations which make up lived experience, simultaneously evoking an allegory of the city of Tel Aviv and its mythologies.
The narrative starts on a warm day in April. Caesar and Israel learn that the father of their friend Goldman has died. They set out to attend the funeral of the old man, although they are aware that Goldman's relationship with the tyrannical old man had been very distant. Since they do not know where the funeral is to take place, they arrive three hours late.
Gradually, as the narrative unfolds, the three characters are revealed. Caesar is a photographer, about 40 years old, who devotes all his energies to the conquest of women, using sex as a means to justify his existence. Israel, a man in his thirties, lives a rather withdrawn life, as if a profound disappointment overwhelmed and drowned him. He dreams of learning to play the organ but does nothing to achieve this aim and prefers to let Caesar, with whom he lives, support him.
Goldman is a little older and dreams of a great love which would give meaning to his life. In the meantime, he lives in his parents' apartment and leads the humdrum life of a lawyer.
Directed by Amos Gitai
Writing credits Gilad Evron, Madi Levy
Gabi Beniashvilly.... Young man in the bar
Samuel Calderon.... Besh
Helena Cherkasov.... Bride
David Cohen.... Zvi
Yuval Cohen.... Young man in the bar
David Da'or.... Vocal
Assi Dayan.... Caesar
Debesa'ar.... Girl in the bar
Family Gershovitch.... Old couple in the bar
Riki Gal.... Ruchama
Amos Gitai.... Goldman
Menahem Golan.... Nelo
Veronica Gottlieb.... Paula
Shosh Grinberg.... Girll in the bar
Sharon Hacohen.... Tirza
Dan Harden.... Max
Yuval Havkin.... Shaul
Maya Kadishman.... Dita
Leah Koenig.... Stephana (as Lea Koenig)
Itzhak Levy.... Oldman in the bar
Arik Livnat.... Saxophon player
Isac Lubelsky.... Piano
Eitan Priver.... Joel
Azaria Rapaport.... Erwin
Haim Rinstay.... Taxi driver
Hana River.... Zipporah
Naday Rubinstein.... Piano player
Amos Schub.... Israel
Galia Spring.... Elah
Zvi Stolper.... Manfred
Natalia Vitelvitch.... Zina
Devora Vizen.... Judith mutzler
Shmuel Wolf.... Guard
Irit Yeyni.... Girl in the bar
Michal Zoharetz.... Eliazara
AMOS GITAI - director
Amos Gitai was studying architecture, following in his father?s footsteps, when the Yom Kippur War interrupted his studies and it was the use of his Super8 camera, whilst flying helicopter missions that led to his career as a filmmaker.
Based in Israel, the United States and France, Gitai has produced an extraordinary, wide-ranging, and deeply personal body of work. In around 40 films ? documentary and fiction, Gitai has explored the layers of history in the Middle East and beyond, including his own personal history, through such themes as homeland and exile, religion, social control and utopia. His trademark style includes long takes with scarce but significant camera movements and a devilishly clever sense of humour.
In the late 70s and early 80s, Gitai directed numerous documentaries, including HOUSE and FIELD DIARY. During the same era, Gitai received his Ph.D in architecture from the University of California ? Berkeley.
Following the controversial reception to FIELD DIARY, Gitai moved to Paris in 1983, where he was based for the next ten years and during this period continued to travel widely directing such documentaries as PINEAPPLE ? a humorous odyssey about the growth and marketing of pineapples. He also made BRAND NEW DAY ? a film that followed Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics as they toured Japan.
During this period he began directing fiction and historical films about the experience of exile. These films include the Venice critic's prize-winning BERLIN JERUSALEM and the extraordinary trilogy on the Jewish legend of Golem.
In the mid-90s Gitai moved to Haifa and began the most fertile, productive period of his career to date. Over 10 years, Gitai made some 15 films, both documentary and fiction. The 1995 feature DEAVARIM marked the return to his country and his reunion with the light and landscape of Tel Aviv. The first film in Gitai's trilogy of Israeli cities, DEVARIM was followed by YOM YOM (shot in Haifa) and KADOSH (shot in Mea Shearim, the Jerusalem district of Orthodox Jews). Other fiction features followed: 2000?s KIPPUR, 2001's EDEN, 2002?s KEDMA, 2003?s ALILA and 2004?s PROMISED LAND.
Gitai?s work has been the subject of major retrospectives, notably at Centre Pompidou (Paris), NFT and ICA (both in London), and cinematheques in Madrid, Jerusalem, Paris, Sao Paolo, Tokyo and Toronto. Future retrospectives are scheduled later this year at New York?s Lincoln Center and Berlin's Kunstwerk.