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The First 54 Years
An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation

Directed by Avi Mograbi
110 minutes
Unclassified 15+
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A step-by-step guide to colonial occupation from director Avi Mograbi, using Israel’s 54-year occupation of the Palestinian territories as a case study.
Mograbi's incisive documentary is based on the testimonies of 38 former Israeli army recruits who have served in the occupied territories since 1967. The witnesses are part of the ‘Breaking the Silence' project involving thousands of veterans. Through their sobering statements and with archive footage, the film examines the methods that Israel has utilised in its undeclared strategy to permanently appropriate the land. The film takes the form of an ironic lecture on how colonial occupation works with Mograbi (How I Learned to Overcome My Fear and Love Arik Sharon, SFF 1997) addressing the camera between each segment. This sobering, essential documentary was selected for the Berlinale 2021.
An essential explanation of Israeli objectives and the systematic subjugation of a people, deserving international attention.
Jay Weissberg, Variety
Rather than highlighting the Israeli soldiers’ feelings of guilt or distress in a way that might risk eclipsing the Palestinian experience, the interviews acquire the status of sober quasi-judicial witness statements, with an additional charge of insight into what it means to find yourself, perhaps without fully realising it, in the thick of things, in an extreme authoritarian position.
Jonathan Romney, Screen International


Wed 3 Nov
Event Cinemas George St 5
Past Event Cancel
Sun 7 Nov
Ritz Cinemas Randwick 5
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
International Documentaries, On Demand
Unclassified 15+
France, Finland, Israel, Germany
In English, French, German and Hebrew with English subtitles
Avi Mograbi
Serge Lalou, Camille Laemlé, Annie Ohayon-Dekel
Philippe Bellaïche, Tulik Gallon
Documentary, Human Rights, Middle East, Politics & Economics, Religion & Belief
Company Credits
Sales Agent: The Party Film Sales
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