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There are no Lions in Tel Aviv


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    The three Darwish brothers, who immigrated from Iraq to Israel in the 50’s, established the family factory “Fantasia” - a menorah factory. For a time period of 50 years they designed, manufactured and shipped Chanukah menorahs for the entire world and now…the family factory is about to close down. From this point in time, the director, who is the son of the youngest brother, is starting to embark on a journey that unravels the history of his family, going back 100 years. The story weaves memories from Iraq and Israel - two homelands, two languages, two identities, two enemies. The director is trying to reconstruct the narrative of his family, a narrative that has disappeared in the silence and shame that followed the family move to Israel. The father’s silence is finally broken by the director’s relentless inquiries, which reveal a story about 5 lost years of his father in the Iraqi prison. It is a diary film shot over a period of 10 years.

Documentary   |   Israel   |   2019  

63 min


Subtitles: English

I am very attracted to people or topics that no one else will deal with. Unnamed, unknown heroes. People who have had or are having a very big impact but which no one notices, or topics that are not commonly dealt with. In There are No Lions in Tel Aviv (2019), I reveal the story of Rabbi Shorenstein, from Denmark. Perhaps everyone knew about the Tel Aviv Zoo, but most people have not heard the story of the man behind it. A man, who loved animals and had a dream to build a zoo, which he fulfilled, but from which he was later cruelly expelled. I'm attracted to these stories of dreamers, who have to fight against the establishment to fulfill their dream. It's something within me, the ground is unsafe, unsteady. You have to be on the move all the time. You are constantly in motion. This is how I perceive my characters, they all are going through some kind of journey.

The film is a trip back to my childhood experience in Tel Aviv, on the rooftops above the city, right behind the zoo, that’s where my playground was. And that’s where I could have some space alone, away from my family. A space for contemplation.

Director: Duki Dror   

Producer: Liat Kamai Eshed 

Script: Duki Dror & Carmit Sapir Weitz   

Cinematography: Ron Katzenelson 

Editor: Ron Goldman   

Music: Frank Ilfman  

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