Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Nature of Dreams

Disappointment is the nature of dreams...
"If you compare Israel to the magnitude of its dreams, it is a disappointment. But this is not about the nature of Israel; it's about the nature of dreams. Israel is a dream come true, and is such it is destined to taste sour - because it is fulfilled."
So says Amos Oz in the documentary The Nature of Dreams, based on his memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness, directed by Masha Zur Glozman and Yonathon Zur.  Oz is one of Israel's most esteemed writers; he is also known for his controversial political views.  The man portrayed in the documentary matches the one who shines through his poetry and prose; humane, compassionate, insightful.  A beautiful, beautiful man.  The documentary follows Oz on an International lecture tour, reveals aspects of his family life, growing up in Jerusalem in the 1940's and later, living in a Kibbutz.  It explores his hopes for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, particularly through a very moving conversation with a Palestinian man.  As in his writing, Oz seeks the common ground, the self in the other, the other in the self, the naming of polarity as destructive.
The part of the film that I enjoyed the most was when there was a voice over of a piece of Oz's writing.  Disappointing, then, was that the film did not really delve into Oz's creative, imaginative life.  It had a much more political focus.  I remember a wonderful interview that Oz gave with Radio National's Ramona Koval a number of years ago, where he spoke about the Hebrew language. I was captivated by the poetry, the mystery and the history of it.  Guess you cant do everything in 100 minutes (or so). Several times the camera scanned the view of Jerusalem from the surrounding hills, an image that affected me for reasons I dont really understand.  The shining gold  Temple of the Rock dome against the sameness of the rest of the city; rows on rows of cream buildings. The harshness of the hills; dry, rocky, treeless.  I'm glad I saw the film; it made me want to read the memoir. I also appreciated understanding just a tincy bit more about Jewish history and about Israel and Palestine.  I also feel like I gained a little more insight into Albert and Rico, loved characters from The Same Sea
Promised lands are a lie. There is no wondrous snowman in the mountain ravines. Only in the sea there awaits her what never was and has gone. - from The Same Sea
Evening. Rain falls on the empty desert hills. Chalk and flint and the smell of dust being wetted after an arid summer. A wish stirs: to be what I would have been had I not known what is known. To be before knowledge. Like the hills. Like a stone on the surface of the moon. Simply there, motionless and trusting in the length of its shelflife. - The Same Sea 
 Isn't that beautiful!

The Nature of Dreams is showing at the Nova

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