Adi Oren, Roi Gutman
Anat Yuta Zuria
Dalia Mevorach, Dani Dothan
Michal Abulafia, Moran Somer
Noa Ben Hagai
Yusra Abu Kaff, Kamla Abu Zeila, Morad Alfrawn, May Alfrawna
Women in War Zones - Films from Here
Women in War Zones - Balkan
Alice Guy Blaché
Anat Yuta Zuria
Anat Zuria was born in 1961 in Jerusalem. A graduate of the Midrasha Art School in Ramat Hasharon in 1984, she has shown a number of exhibitions of her video-art in Israel, Europe and Canada. In 1998, she graduated from the Ma’ale Film School. Since 2006, she has served as film critic for Eretz Acheret magazine.
Her first film, Tehorah (“Purity”, 2002), exposed matters related to taboo, sexuality and Orthodoxy, and won six international awards.
Her second film, Mekudeshet (“Sentenced to Marriage”, 2004), was the first film to portray by means of a legal drama what actually occurs in the rabbinical courts. Mekudeshet has also won international awards.
Black Bus (2009) tells the story of the courageous attempt of two young Haredi women to document the society from which they have fled. The film has won Best Documentary in Haifa International Film Festival 2009, and was shown at Berlinale 2010.
Purity (2002), Sentenced to Marriage (2004), Black Bus (2009)
Director's Statement :
Black Bus is political feminine cinema, the third part in a film trilogy documenting tabu issues in Israeli democracy. In the third film of the trilogy I chose to describe a denied reality of gender apartheid in the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Jewish Community in Israel, a phenomenon that was at the time not discussed. The public space in Israel has gone through a change in the recent decade when phenomena like gender apartheid in public transportation became a dominating religious norm and a part of the Haredi society characteristics.
Ultra-Orthodox women found themselves in a changing religious reality, without means of public protest, in a society where breaking prohibitions leads to expulsion from the family and community. I started the film after several ultra-Orthodox women approached me when they found themselves at the back of the bus. Their protest stayed in private, knowing that publicly expressing criticism would harm them and their families.
Following comprehensive research done with Haredi women, the chosen ones were the formerly Haredi Sarah and Shulamit, two young women who were ostracized when they broke rabbinical bans and chose to live as independent women. The script for Black Bus is based on a subversive research work done by the two. They were both “bad girls” and researched by writing and photographing the reality of ultra-Orthodox environment, which was their home before.
The verbal interrogation committed by the blogger Sarah is shown in the film next to a world of visual images taken from the cinematographer Shulamit's point of view. Shulamit photographs women who move in an environment banning representation of the female body, in streets and buses. The female body turned into a major tabu in ultra-Orthodox society and evolved into an element which constantly threatens religious men's purity, and therefore has to disappear from view.
The film describes some of the prices paid by the protagonists for the freedom of speech they allow themselves. Ostracized, they have a hard time releasing themselves from stigmas that were attached to them by their parents and community. Sarah and Shulamit went out of Haredi world to free themselves from the ultra-Orthodox female destiny which haunted them. In a way, the film describes the moments when it seems they won a fictitious freedom and are still haunted by their past.
But in a society where women are not allowed, among other things, to lead and to testify, they become important witnesses to silenced depression of women and an inspiration to independent women hiding inside Haredi society.
In the Haredi street today there is no place for filming or photographing women in public, and the gender separation expands into almost any public space, from buses to health clinics.