Since the beginning of the 20th century, Hebrew, formerly used primarily in religious contexts in the Jewish Diaspora, has become a daily spoken language. What has been preserved of it by its being thus changed? What has it lost? What are the tensions between the sacred and quotidian use of the language?
Award-winning French-Israeli filmmaker Nurith Aviv will present a screening and discussion of her film, Sacred Language, Spoken Language, in which writers and artists born in Israel describe their relationship with the historical, political and religious facets of Hebrew. They explore issues of identity formation and the relationships between the secular and the religious, politics and language and the Israeli Jewish community/nation and the Jewish Diaspora. The film features Haim Gouri, Michal Govrin, Victoria Hanna, Ronit Matalon, Roy Greenwald, Etgar Keret, Yitzhak Laor, Shimon Adaf, Haviva Pedaya, Yehuda Ovadya Fetaya, Zali Gurevitch, Michal Naaman and Orly Castel-Bloom.
Nurith Aviv was the first woman officially recognized as a director of photography in France. In addition to having been the director of photography for more than fifty films, including works by Agnès Varda, Amos Gitai and René Allio, she has directed several documentaries. In September 2008, a retrospective of her work was held in the Jeu de Paume in Paris, and in May 2009, she became the first filmmaker to be awarded the prestigious Prix Edouard Glissant.Organized by Hagit Borer (Linguistics) and Michael Renov (Cinematic Arts). Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Religious Studies and Hebrew Union College.
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