Rafi Bukaee’s Avanti Popolo: Telling the War from the Traumatized Perpetrator’s Perspective
Yael Munk analyzes the Israeli anti-war film, Avanti Popolo (1986), and argues that its director, Rafi Bukaee, focuses on the enemy perspective in order to work through his own perpetrator’s trauma as a reserve soldier. Utilizing both the film and an interview from the director as analytical basis, Munk makes the convincing case that the surrealistic narrative of Avanti Popolo as well as its emphasis on the enemy is proof that Bukaee is processing his own trauma from the war and is commenting on the role of the Israeli military more generally. Using a discrete, more chronologically distanced, and more socially uncontested war in Israel to tackle this issue, Bukaee manages to evoke compassion, humanism, and pity for all those involved in war, including the perpetrator, as Munk displays.
I wish to thank my research assistant Sigal Yona for her precious work, my friend Ms. Maayan Miloh, Rafi Bukaee’s widow for the various conversations we held about the film, and Ms. Michèle Driguez from the Montpellier Festival in France for providing me with a copy of the original interview quoted in this article.
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