Tarab, A Journey in Search of Memory and Identity in Two Parts

Tarab" is a compelling and in-depth documentary film about cultural identities. Writer Eli Amir and filmmaker Boris Maftsir are friends and neighbours in Jerusalem. One day Eli invited Orit, Boris’s eldest daughter—a world-renowned belly dancer—to participate in an evening at the University dedicated to legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. The stated purpose of the event was to critique the Israeli Ashkenazi public’s alienation from Arab culture and self-imposed isolation in the region. Shaken by this statement, Boris sets off on a journey in search of Eli Amir’s identity, to the roots of the boy who came to Israel from Baghdad and ardently held on to his native language and culture, and whose life is reflected in an autobiographical trilogy—(Farewell, Baghdad, Scapegoat, and Yasmin). In the search after Eli Amir’s roots, Boris Maftsir explores his own loss of identity. Boris was active from age 19 in an underground Zionist group in Riga. He was arrested by the KGB and sentenced to a year in prison. Once in Israel, he erased his childhood and youth from his memory and denied his Russian/Soviet roots. Through the reconstruction of suppressed memories, Maftsir also learns about the world of his daughter Orit—who effortlessly adopted the richness of Arabic culture and helped Eli Amir realize his dream.http://www.vjff.org/archive/film/202/tarab-a-journey-in-search-of-memory-and-identity-in-two-parts

78 minutes

Shown at

  1. Vancouver Jewish Film Festival - 2010

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