A Film by Etty Wieseltier
(Israel, 2009, 55 Minutes, Color, Hebrew, English subtitles)
Using rare archival footage, the film documents the story of Eli Aviv, President of "Achziv Land". At the time of the War of Independence and the 'fleeing' of the Arabs from the district, Eli decided to appropriate one of the abandoned villages which had been called A'Ziv. The film follows Aviv through the joyous bohemian years (at the peak of which he declared the village "The Independent State of Achziv'), until now when the authorities are threatening to close it down.
To this day Aviv's friends make pilgrimages to visit him –politicians, writers, artists – everyone feels that the time has come to say goodbye. And yet, Avivi, barefoot and dressed in a white Bedouin robe, continues to photograph beautiful women, to flirt, to make new friends.
The ongoing parade of colorful visitors includes Eli's nephew, Shay Avivi, a well-known actor who envisages a better future: making Achziv into a green, ecological village which would save the land from real estate vultures - and begin the next chapter in the history of Achziv Land.
AWARDS, FESTIVALS & SCREENINGS
• Haifa International Film Festival 2009
• Toronto JFF