Contemporary Israeli Documentary Films

Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi

Avi Mograbi

Film is really a melding together of three separate stories, all involving the filmmaker, Israeli gadfly Avi Mograbi. Documentary maker Mograbi plays a fictional documentary filmmaker (named Mograbi) who is hired to produce a film on the celebration of Israel’s 50th anniversary of statehood, which occurred on April 30, 1999. Mograbi discovers that this date is also his own 42nd birthday and decides to make a second film, reflecting on his own midlife crisis. But, when he is approached by a Palestinian group who want him to document the destruction of Palestinian villages by Jewish settlers, he finds himself telling a third story: that of the Nakba (‘the disaster’), as the Palestinians call the creation of the state of Israel.

Avi Mograbi

Avi Mograbi, born in Israel in 1956. Studied philosophy and art. Filmography: ‘The Reconstruction’ (1994), ‘How I Learned to Overcome My Fear and Love Arik Sharon’ (1997), and ‘Relief’ (1999). As scriptwriter, ‘A Tale That Starts With a Snakes Funeral’ (1993). 

General sponsor

Yom Huledet Same'ach Mar Mograbi

France, Israel
1999, 78', color, 16 mm

Directed by:
Avi Mograbi

Screenplay by:
Avi Mograbi

Eytan Harris, Ron Katzenelson, Iztik Portal

Edited by:
Avi Mograbi

Avi Mograbi, Serge Lalou

Produced by:
Les Films O'Ici

Festivals & Awards:

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival - Runner Up Prize; Doc-Aviv Film Festival - Distinguished Filmmaker Award; Ann Arbor Film Festival - Michael Moore Award for best documentary; Festival of New Film – Split - Special Mention in the international competition