Eyal Sivan (IL)

Eyal Sivan is a documentary filmmaker born in Haifa, Israel. He is a self-taught author, who at first dropped out of school to pursue fashion photography. On one of his field trips to make fashion photographies, he discovered a location in a desert some kilometres away from the Black Sea. A fugitive camp, which was said to be abandoned, turned out to have people still living there.

Later on, when he moved to Paris, this experience turned into his first documentary film Aqabat-Jaber (1987), which was shown at Cinéma du Réel Film Festival at Centre Georges Pompidou and won the first prize. After this initial success, Sivan continued to make films, which have one after another  won prizes, but also initiated severe public debates. His films Izkor, Jaffa: An Orange’s Clockwork, Route 181, The Specialist have all achieved the status of cult documentary films. Nevertheless, Route 181 was censored in France and after severe accusations also peaked into a law suit.

Eyal Sivan is often marked with labels of controversy and politics. But, to put it in his words, the very nature of work in a public space inflicts a responsibility and there is no such thing as a non-political author. When asked about his status of a controversial author he calmly replies: „The label of controversy says nothing about me, but it says a lot about the person who uses it. In other words: if I wouldn’t be called controversial, what would I be? A consensual author? I would rather go to sleep…”.

I would say that Europe is sick. People are afraid to think politically. Europe is facing a difficult situation in which crisis is understood as a state of total depression. But for me crisis is a moment of potential.

Related links: http://www.eyalsivan.info/,