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Amos Gitai posters


October 11, 1950

Birth Sign




Born in Haifa in 1950, as the second son of architect Munio Weinraub and former Sionist activist Efratia Margalit. On the year of his birth, his parents changed the family name to "Gitai", which is the Hebrew translation of the German name "Weinraub". While he was a student in architecture, Amos Gitai joined the Yom Kippur war in 1973 as a reserve duty officer, and served as part of a helicopter rescue team. While serving during the war, he started filming with a 8mm camera his mother gave him as his birthday present. On his 23rd birthday, October 11th 1973, his helicopter was shot down by a Syrian missile. Among the 7 crews on board, 6 of them survived, including Gitai himself, who was inspired by this traumatic experience to quit architecture and move to filmmaking. He made a documentary on this incident and his fellow survivors, "Kippur: War Memories" in 1993, then a fictional recreation of it "Kippur" in 2000.in 1979, Gitai directed his first feature-length documentary "House", commissioned by Israel's public television. read more

The television rejected the film, and the film (originally shot in 16mm) only exists today copied from a VHS tape he managed to secure. The tape traveled on few international festivals and quickly earned a reputation for him. His third documentary, "Field Diary" shot in 1983 was also rejected by the Israeli Television who originally commissioned it. This time, Gitai moved to France with the negative of the film and completed it in France. For the next 10 years, he based himself in Europe.1n 1986, he directed his first feature fictional film "Esther", based on the Biblical story of the book of Esther.In 1993, following prime minister Ytzhak Rabin starting the peace process with Palestine, Gitai and his family moved back to live in his native town of Haifa.

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