Amos Gitai in Venice with a film on Rabin's assassination | world cinema | Hindustan Times
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Amos Gitai in Venice with a film on Rabin's assassination

world cinema Updated: Sep 09, 2015 11:15 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times
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Israeli director Amos Gitai's film Rabin, The Last Day chronicles the assassination of Israeli prime minister in November 1995.

The master Israeli auteur, Amos Gitai, will be back on the Lido in 2015 with a movie on one of the hottest topics of all times. His Rabin, The Last Day, will compete for the Golden Lion at the ongoing Venice Film Festival. The work -- gripping to the core, if one were to go by the early reports -- will talk about the 1995 assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin.

The movie is not biographical, but will focus squarely on the last moments of Rabin -- when he was murdered and the kind of pathos and chaos which engulfed Israeli society in the months that followed this tragedy.

Come November 4, and it will mark 20 years since that fateful day, when the charismatic Prime Minister was gunned down during a rally in Tel Aviv by an orthodox Jewish extremist, Yigal Amir. He was a student of a religious university who was completely against the Oslo Accords. These were signed by Rabin and they were meant to take the peace process between Israel and Palestine a step forward.

In fact, November 4, 1995 is often considered as a day when the hope of a viable co-existence between Israel and Palestine as a State was dashed.

Rabin, who served in the Israeli Army for 27 years and who become the Prime Minister twice, was the key to many important peace treaties with his country's enemies -- including the 1994 pact with Jordan. This still holds good.

A scene from Rabin, The Last Day.

Rabin was a strong advocate of giving away land for peace, and extremists like Amir hated this, for they thought that every bit of Israeli territory had been given by God.

Gitai has always maintained that Amir was merely the gun that shot Rabin. There was a much larger ideological issue and incitement behind the weapon. The director undertook the movie only after a long and detailed investigation into the assassination. It is said that Amir had three accomplices, who were far more powerful than Yigal.

The Last Day will take us through the Shamgar Commission, which probed the murder. Gitai felt that it did not take into account the burning political provocation at the time of Rabin's death. So, the director made his own inquiries and turned them into a movie.

(Gautaman Bhaskaran is covering the Venice Film Festival.)