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Enter the Demon Drummer

Film
Film
Original Title (If different): 
יצא השד המתופף
Language: 
Hebrew
Other languages or subtitles: 
English
Production country: 
Israel
Theme: 
Documentary
Category/Format: 
Documentaries
Student film: 
No
Production year: 
January, 2007
Film Credits
About the Director: 

Ram Loevy, born in 1940 in Tel Aviv, has been an award-winning Israeli television director, producer and screenwriter (Israel Prize and Prix Italia award winner) ever since the medium first began broadcasting in the country in 1968. In a career spanning forty years, he created nearly sixty films and mini – series. Among these films are some of the most prominent and subversive television movies and documentaries, challenging the status quo on such issues as class conflict, torture, the prison system, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Among his films, Khirbet Khize, Israel, 1978, an adaptation of the novel by S. Yizhar, tells the story of how Israeli soldiers expelled the Palestinian inhabitants of the fictional village of Khirbet Khize from their homes toward the end of Israel's War of Independence. Loevy first proposed the dramatization of the story in 1972, but it was not aired for political reasons. He recommended the story again in 1977 and it was approved and started filming at the west bank. There was some debate over whether the film should be screened because of its controversial nature, but after a screening before the entire board of the IBA, it was decided to go ahead. However, while the film was still under production, a new, rightwing government was voted into power and Anwar Sadat visited Jerusalem. People from across the political spectrum began to question whether it should be screened, given the sensitivity of potential peace negotiations. Khirbet Khize was originally planned to be aired on 16 January 1978, but on that day the joint Israeli-Egyptian Political Committee first met in Jerusalem, and it was deemed inappropriate to raise such a controversial issue. When the talks broke down that February, it was decided to screen the film only in the context of a political talk show. Though a decision was made to reconvene the IBA board to make a final decision, two members, representing the Likud and National Religious parties were vocally opposed. In the end, the Minister of Education stepped in and blocked the film from being aired. This prompted a bitter debate in Israel regarding Freedom of expression. In protest at the ministerial decision, IBA employees decided to black out the broadcast for 48 minutes during the night that Khirbet Khize was to be screened (February 6, 1978) to protest the IBA's decision to allow the government to intervene in television broadcasting. It was one of the most important struggles for freedom of the media in Israel's history. The next week, the Board of the IBA finally decided to screen the film. Khirbet Khize aired on 13 February 1978, and Ram Loevy earned the reputation of an iconoclast who was willing and able to fight a deeply politicized system. This was a turning point in his career, and his later films continued to challenge the established mythology of modern Israel.
Throughout his film career Loevy was determined to tell the story of the silenced masses, and he was determined to do it not by shouting but by silence. The result was his film Bread, Lehem, which was awarded the Prix Italia prize for television fiction. When the film Bread was aired in 1986, unemployment was skyrocketing in Israel and the social impact of the film was felt greatly throughout the country. The carefully crafted story, which bridged the gap between drama and documentary, had enormous international appeal as well. In many ways, Loevy's film, Bread, shifted the dialogue within the Israeli society from national security issues to inner social issues such as social rifts which were finally represented through the popular medium of a television drama. It was therefore inevitable that Loevy would examine the impact of the most popular arts, music, film, and literature on a society in transition as well.
The Film that Wasn't, 1993-1994, is a documentary mini – series on the emotionally charged issue of how interrogation was practiced by the Israeli police, and military forces, towards the Palestinians. Torture had long been a hot-button issue in Israel and the film had a very big impact and stirred much debate. Even this did not succeed in silencing his penetrating voice and his uncompromising perspective on Israeli society which is exposed in many of his films.
Loevy is currently Professor Emeritus of Cinema and Television at Tel Aviv University

Film director: 
Ram Loevy
Producer: 
Ram Loevy
Screenplay: 
Ram Loevy
Editing: 
Omri Zalmona
Film photographer: 
Philippe Bellaiche
Film synopsis: 
It seemed like a simple story: a group of Israeli "drum addicts" travel to the Republic of Mali, to study the Djembe, the ceremonial African drumming. Gradually it becomes a highly charged encounter between black Muslims and white Jews, between Hi-Tec experts and poor villagers and ends as a heart breaking love affair.
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