Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

Avenge But One of My Two Eyes 2005

Nekam achat mishtey eynay

Directed by Avi Mograbi

Israeli director’s inflammatory documentary critique of his own nation’s continuing reverence for suicidal Zealots in the face of rising terrorism. “Explosively provocative.” — Screendaily

Israel In Arabic, English and Hebrew with English subtitles
100 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Philippe Bellaïche


Avi Mograbi
Ewa Lenkiewicz


Dominique Vieillard


Cannes (Out of Competition), Vancouver, New York 2005; Rotterdam 2006


An inflammatory critique of his own nation, Israeli Avi Mograbi’s film takes its title from the blinded Samson’s vow to ‘avenge but one of my two eyes’. Mograbi, whose tone of incredulous dismay owes something to Michael Moore, shows us Israeli children being taught in school to revere the Old Testament strongman for his spectacular suicide, which took out 3,000 Philistines. Meanwhile tourists at Masada are urged by a passionate tour guide to identify with the 900 Jewish zealots who killed themselves there when they were besieged by the Roman army in the first century. The unstated irony that these Zionist martyrs might be the antecedents of (or even role models for) today’s besieged Palestinians, resounds through Mograbi’s bitter essay. Structuring his film around a rambling phone conversation with a Palestinian friend, who blames the rise in terrorism on increasingly intolerable conditions imposed by the Israeli army, Mograbi also makes his own forays into the field to observe those conditions first hand. — BG