Amos Gitai - Screening of Film “Disengagement”

Film - Documentary | September 27 | 6:30-9 p.m. | 112 Wurster Hall

 College of Environmental Design

Lecture Series: House, City, Border: Poetics and Politics of Israel

Third of a three-part film series presented by the College of Environmental Design. Amos Gitai (Ph.D Architecture '79) will be on hand for the screening and discussion that follows. Mary Ann Doane, Professor of FIlm and Media @ UC Berkeley will discuss the film with Gitai.


Disengagement is the third installment in Amos Gitai's Border trilogy which also includes the Promised Land (2004) and Free Zone (2005). Disengagement refers to the Israeli government's current policies of withdrawal from Gaza and the forced destruction of illegal settlements established by Israeli citizens in the region's disputed areas. But, in the imaginative hands of Amos Gitai, disengagement takes on another, much subtler, more personal meaning. As the two levels of significance speak to each other, Gitai employs all his considerable artistry to explore the term both emotionally and intellectually. The result is one of his finest creations.

Ana is reunited with her estranged Israeli stepbrother, Uli, when he travels to France for the death of their father. She decides to return to Israel to search for the daughter she gave up at birth 20 years ago. Crossing frontiers by car, train and boat, Ana and Uli are caught up in the turmoil and emotion of the military-enforced disengagement of Israeli settlers from Gaza in 2005. (Full film review available at Variety.)


This lecture series presents a set of curated films that allow the audience to enter Israel from the powerful lens of the renowned filmmaker Amos Gitai. Each of the screenings in this series is a final film in a trilogy: House, City, and Border, introducing the audience to both Gitai’s documentary and fiction filmmaking. As a trained Architect, Gitai has a unique way of understanding and representing human experience through time and space. House, City, and Border are the anatomy of any country, which Gitai has beautifully captured to present a more complete narrative/image of Israel in the context of larger global discourses.

This film series will be of special interest to those in the College of Environmental Design, The Israel and Jewish studies program, Middle Eastern studies, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies. The series ends with Gitai’s 2007 film Disengagement, which more directly engages with the overall theme of our screenings regarding the plan, construction, transformation, and destruction of ideological settlements. Amos’s filmmaking style will set an example for all of us studying people and their environments on how to cross geographical, racial, ideological and political borders to examine and humanize opposing groups to one another. These films together help build a foundation for peace.


Alumnus Amos Gitai is an acclaimed Israeli filmmaker who is widely known for making documentaries and feature films about the Middle East and Jewish-Arab conflict.

Gitai's work has been presented in several major retrospectives at the Pompidou Center Paris, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Lincoln Center New York and the British Film Institute London. To date Gitai has created over 90 works of art over 38 years. Between 1999 and 2011 seven of his films were entered in the Cannes Film Festival for the Palme d'Or as well as the Venice Film Festival for the Golden Lion award.

He has received several prestigious prizes which include the Leopard of Honor at the Locarno International Film Festival (2008), the Roberto Rossellini prize (2005), the Robert Bresson prize (2013) and the Paradjanov prize (2014). His recent feature film, Rabin, The Last Day, was presented at the 72th Venice Film Festival.

About Mary Ann Doane

Professor Doane is the Class of 1937 Professor of Film and Media at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously she was the George Hazard Crooker Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She is a pioneer in the study of gender in film. Doane received her In 1974, Doane received her Ph.D. in Speech and Dramatic Art from the University of Iowa. She specializes in film theory, feminist theory and semiotics,[2] and she joined the UC Berkeley Film and Media faculty as the Class of 1937 Film and Media professor in the fall of 2011. She has authored several books on film including: The Desire to Desire: The Woman's Film of the 1940s (Indiana University Press), Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis (Routledge), and The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive (Harvard University Press). She has also published a wide range of articles on feminist film theory, sound in the cinema, psychoanalytic theory, television, and sexual and racial difference in film.

This event is co-sponsored by the College of Environmental Design and the Global Urban Humanities Initiative

This lecture is open to the public.