FILMS

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The Prophet and the Space Aliens
10 percent
Defamation
Flipping Out
5 Days
Checkpoint
Marta and Luis
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The Prophet and the Space Aliens

2020

“The Prophet and The Space Aliens" follows Rael, who after an alleged encounter with extraterrestrials - that appointed him the "last prophet" - became the founder and leader of the world’s biggest UFO religion.

What is the difference between a cult and a religion? Why is it easier for us to accept the story of a man who talked to a burning bush than it is to accept the story of a man who received a prophecy from extraterrestrials? Had there been documentaries about celebrated prophets made during their lifetimes, what kinds of uncomfortable secrets would’ve been revealed?

 

Upon receiving a mysterious invitation, award-winning director Yoav Shamir recruits one of the world’s leading historians of religion, Prof. Daniel Boyarin, as his mentor and sets off on a thought-provoking, humorous quest that takes Shamir from Rael’s beautiful home in Okinawa to his sleepy hometown in France; from the Raelians’ “pleasure hospital” in Burkina Faso to the growing Raelian communities in Asia, Europe and North America.

 

The story of this modern day prophet and his ambitious attempts to venture into new territories in search of loyal followers, sheds light on the many themes and questions that religion and faith lay bare.

 

10% - What makes a hero?

2013

Who is a true HERO? What compels one to maintain their integrity, go against the grain and fight for what is JUST?

Award-winning director Yoav Shamir (Defamation, Checkpoint) sets out on an entertaining and insightful international quest, exploring the notion of heroism through a multi-faceted lens,

 

From ordinary heroes to freedom fighters, primates to humans, behavioral scientists to geneticists, even Ayn Rand to Raelians, Shamir leaves no stone unturned, and along the way unveils the fundamental truths of human nature.   

 

Defamation

2009

Intent on shaking up the ultimate "sacred cow" for Jews, Israeli director Yoav Shamir embarks on a provocative - and at times irreverent - quest to answer the question, what is anti-Semitism today? Does it remain a dangerous and immediate threat? Or is it a scare tactic used by right-wing Zionists to discredit their critics?

In "Defamation," director Yoav Shamir sets out to discover the realities of anti-Semitism as an identity issue. Is it an extant threat continually on the verge of coalescing into a second Holocaust? Or is it a scare tactic used by right-wing Zionists to discredit their critics? Most opinions fall in the gray area between two vastly different poles. Representing one end of the spectrum is Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League and ardent advocate of the theory that anti-Semitism is ubiquitous and requires constant vigilance to be kept in check. His foil in the debate is Norman Finkelstein, a controversial author, professor, and son of Holocaust survivors, who asserts a vast conspiracy orchestrated by Israel itself to undermine critics of its policy. Through Shamir's evenhanded lens, both men have moments of visionary clarity as well as unhinged ramblings. And they are only two voices in a cacophonous global debate.

Flipping out

2007

Military service is compulsory in Israel for all Jewish men and women. After their years of service, they are granted a discharge bonus, which many of them use to fly to India to recover from their experiences . Approximately 90 per cent will use drugs during their stay, and each year some two thousand of them will need professional help due to this drug use. The psychotic break with reality they experience is commonly referred to as “flipping out.”

Shot over a period of two years by Yoav Shamir, Flipping Out offers a close-up look at these former soldiers, most of them under the age of 25, as they follow this strange post-military odyssey. From the guest houses of northern India to the beach resorts of Goa in the south, the film reveals the pervasive culture of drugs and hedonism that leaves some of these young people battling for their sanity. It also offers a look at the efforts by Israelis to rescue them such as people like Helik Magnus, an ex- Mossad agent hired by families in Israel to bring some of the most disturbed backpackers home.

5 Days

5 days

2006

5 days is an action-packed documentary that tells the story of the emotionally charged Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in August 2005.

On 15 August 2005, Israel began the disengagement of the Gaza Strip. In a unilateral move decided on by the Israeli government, Jewish settlers were removed from their homes and villages. This is one of the most significant historical events of the past few decades in the Middle East. After years of confrontation with the Palestinians, the Israeli army has earned a reputation for its brute strength. For the first time, it is being forced to turn its fist against the Jewish population. This film tracks the key events of the disengagement over the course of five days. Unprecedented access to the Israeli army and settlers opens the door to seven film crews, who simultaneously follow the intriguing figures involved in the event, creating a cinematic experience that combines the drama of 24 and Rashomon. This cinematic "operation" is conducted by Yoav Shamir, whose camera also personally follows General Dan Harel, Chief of the Southern Command, in charge of the disengagement. This human mosaic tells its story from very different perspectives, describing Israeli society in all its complexity as it deals with a unique historical moment.

Checkpoint

2003

Checkpoint - is a cinema verite documentary, which captures the enforced encounters between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians at military checkpoints throughout the West Bank.

The West Bank and Gaza Strip have been under Israeli military authority since 1967. Over three million Palestinians live in a nation under Israeli occupation. When they want to move from one village or city to another, to visit relatives or doctors, or to go to work, they have to pass through Israeli checkpoints. After years of terrorist attacks, dozens of these heavily guarded checkpoints have been set up. From 2001 to 2003, director Yoav Shamir has filmed and created an incredibly honest and moving vérité record of various occurrences at these checkpoints. This experiential film conveys a saddening series of encounters between the humiliated Palestinians and the heavily armed, often very young soldiers, who sometimes feel uneasy in their commanding roles. But these men are often self-assured, too, apparently taking pleasure in intimidating the Palestinians, having them wait for hours in the burning sun or pouring rain. The tension is palpable when a large group of Palestinian people ignores the order to return and collectively pass the roadblocks. The general impression is one of an endless situation, in which people on both sides are forced into positions that leave little room for human dignity.

© 2013 by Yoav Shamir Films. all rights reserved.

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