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Blind Space: Roadblock Movies in the Contemporary Israeli Film

The border is a special space that is neither "ours" nor "theirs" but, rather, a third, "in-between" space. In this paper I examine the ways in which the checkpoints are situated along the Israeli borders and scrutinize the function of the movie camera vis-à-vis these checkpoints. A reading of four contemporary Israeli recent films, Ben-Gurion (Gr'aad & Levenberg, 1997), Borders (Riklis & Kaydar, 2001) Close, Closed, Closure (Levi, 2002) and Checkpoints (Shamir, 2003), allows me to expose the transition sites at different places along the border during the last few years. Tracing the border spatiality, I will examine the performative dimension (Butler) that replaced the dialogic one (Martin Buber) between the authorities in the position of control and the subordinated transients that pass under the watchful eye of that control. Through the camera, these sites of transition in films are exposed as heterogeneous meeting points, located in the indeterminate space between surveillance, prejudices, and fears.

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