The First 54 Years: an Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation

France, Finland, Israel, Germany, 2021
110 minutes, Color and Black & White
Official website

You say you want an Occupation? Well, you know...Avi Mograbi's documentary is a step-by-step how-to, with the Israeli Occupation of Gaza and the West Bank in the years since the 1967 War serving as a convenient example. The famously challenging director (Avenge But One of My Two Eyes) made his latest film in collaboration with the Breaking the Silence project, which for years has offered former Israeli soldiers the opportunity to talk about what they did and saw, day in and day out, in the Palestinian Territories. The soldiers' testimonies here are straightforward if heartbreaking; it's not about their pain. Mograbi's intermittent, dryly sardonic commentary, spoken in English to the camera (to us), weaves their stories into a kind of historical logic that we weren't quite expecting, but which explains the film's title, The First 54 Years: this occupation is just getting started.—Judy Bloch

The film received Special Jury Mention for Best Documentary Award at the Berlin Film Festival.

In Hebrew, English with English subtitles

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Interview with director Avi Mograbi

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