Disengagement across borders
by Boyd van Hoeij
05/04/2007 - The new Amos Gitai film, Disengagement, will wrap filming on Saturday in the Cologne area, Germany. The director of 2005 Cannes Best Actress winner Free Zone [trailer] might already present his new effort – the final part of his frontiers trilogy after Free Zone (2005) and Promised Land (2001) – on the Croisette next month.
Disengagement is Gitai’s first collaboration with French actress Juliette Binoche, who plays a Frenchwoman with Israeli roots who, after the death of her father, meets her stepbrother and finds herself looking for her daughter in Israel at the time of the country’s so-called disengagement from the Gaza strip in 2005.
The film also stars veteran actors Jeanne Moreau and Hanns Zilschler as well as Israeli actor Liron Levo and Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas, who have both worked with the director in the past.
Filming on Gitai’s latest project involved three countries: France, Israel and Germany. The scenes shot in Germany are all set aboard a train with the German landscape substituting for parts of France and Italy.
The director of photography is Austria’s Christian Berger, who previously worked with Binoche on Haneke’s Caché [trailer, film focus] but for whom this is the first collaboration with the Israeli director.
Disengagement is an Israeli-European co-production involving Agav Hafakot and Hamon Hafakot (Israel), Agav Films/ Agat Films & Cie (France), R&C Produzioni (Italy) and Pandora (Germany), with financial support from Eurimages, the Arte France Cinéma and Filmstiftung NRW.
The latter, mostly involved in TV productions, is particularly excited to have a European auteur project shooting in the area. Says Ms Droste-Deselaers of the regional fund: "It is especially worthwhile for our local below-the-line talent to get some experience on an international production".