1967. The Six Day War ends with Israel’s decisive victory. The tiny country triples its size, conquering Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. The streets overflow with victorious celebrations, but behind the euphoria hides other voices — the soldiers’ voices. One week after the war, a group of young writers, led by renowned author Amos Oz, decide to chronicle their experiences.
For two weeks Oz travelled throughout the country. Every evening, a number of young men from different regiments closed themselves up in a shelter, turned the tape recorder on and for the first and final time, spoke about what really happened during the war: pain, shame and misery. These discussions were compiled in a book, The 7th Day, which became an international bestseller. The book, however, tells only a fraction of the truth. The whole truth was censored by the army and has been hidden for all these years. The tapes expose abuse, deportation, murder of prisoners, rape, looting, lynching and degradation.
CENSORED VOICES provides a new look at Israel’s utopian war, but also a universal look — honest and pitiless — at men at war and how easily ideals evaporate on the battlefield.
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Mor Loushy Director
Mor Loushy graduated from Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in 2007 and has been working as a freelancer ever since. Her debut film ISRAEL LTD. world premiered at IDFA 2009 (produced by Yes, VPRO, Radio-Canada, Knowledge-Canada) and has been broadcast in 10 countries worldwide.
Daniel Sivan Producer
Daniel Sivan has been working as a freelance director in the Israeli film industry since 2004. His documentary feature MONKEY BUSINESS (2006) won first prize at the Haifa International Film Festival and was described by a few Israeli Critics as one of the best movies ever made in Israel. In 2006, he directed a children’s documentary entitled OFFSIDE, which was screened at IDFA, Tribeca, Discovery and 50 more festivals worldwide. His first fictional feature, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF GOTEL BOTEL, won a special award at the CIMM film festival last year. His production ISRAEL LTD. at IDFA 2009 and was broadcast in 10 countries worldwide. His latest documentary is POISONED, an Israeli-Italian co-production following four boys through their three-year service in the Israeli army.
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Festivals & Awards
Sundance Film Festival
"On June 5, 1967, the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan amass on Israel's borders, threatening annihilation. Six days later, the war ends with Israel’s decisive victory—conquests of Gaza, Sinai, and the West Bank, tripling the tiny country’s size. Streets brim with joy, but behind the euphoria and a proud new national narrative of invincibility are other voices.
One week after the war, author Amos Oz and editor Avrahim Shapira audio-record intimate conversations with Israeli soldiers fresh from the battlefield. These provocative tapes, censored until now, are the core of a startling film about the tragic paradox of Zionism and the contradictions that arise when a people seeking freedom turn occupier, when David becomes Goliath.
The soldiers’ harrowing confessions, combined with rare archival footage and evocative sound design, create a sense of stunning immediacy. As they wrestle with the systemic excision of Palestinians, the dehumanizing nature of war, and echoes of the Holocaust, we listen as these men, now almost 50 years older, hear the recordings for the first time, and the past erupts, presciently, into the present." —C.L.
Berlin International Film Festival
"In 1967 Israel defeated a seemingly superior coalition of adversaries and expanded its territory by a factor of three. The country found itself in the full flush of victory. On the sidelines of the general wave of euphoria writer Amos Oz interviewed young kibbutzniks who had just returned from serving on the front. These men talked openly about what they had experienced; about the destruction, the horrors of war and their fears. They also spoke about the behaviour of Israeli troops towards their adversaries and were far more critical than Oz expected. The novelist had intended to publish the interviews at the time, but this never happened since a large part of the tapes were censored by the Israeli Army – and remain so today.
Extant fragments of the original recordings are juxtaposed with voices from newsreel archives and images of the conflict which help locate the audio testimonials in time. These former soldiers are now men in their seventies; movingly they now take in the doubts they had at the time about the sacrifice that was made in this war in order to achieve victory. Their voices could not be heard until now – yet they relate to the State of Israel as we know it today."
Hot Docs International Film Festival
-The Hollywood Reporter
“A jolting reality check. ”
“Powerful…the film is courageous enough to embrace contradictions and leave them unresolved.”
-The Times of Israel