November 29, 2016
Originally featured in SFJFF 2016, the web series Hitchhikers: An Israeli Roadside Odyssey from director Yair Agmon (The Arrest, SFJFF 2015), illuminates the complexities of Israeli society through each hitchhiker that we meet. In 10 short episodes, Agmon travels all over the country and picks up a diverse mosaic of Israeli characters. This month’s Online Short, (Episode 9 — The Mute), features Agmon connecting through silence with an mute Palestinian companion.
Dir. Yair Agmon, Israel, 2016, 3 min, Hebrew w/ English subtitles.
Q&A with director Yair Agmon
What inspired you to make this film?
I believe that something extraordinary happens in the random encounter which is hitchhiking. Two strangers share a tight space and a short fleeting moment in their life which has a predetermined ending — the drop off point. Trying to convey this experience truly, those characters you meet on the road, was a great inspiration and a clear objective.
What was your greatest challenge during the filmmaking process?
The greatest challenge I faced was trying to figure out as fast as I can what is the main story, the life story, of the person I picked up, and to ask the right questions for that story to be reviled. Sometimes I rose to the challenge, and other time I didn’t.
Any thoughts you’d like to share about screening this film in a Jewish context?
Jews were always known to be a wandering people. I think that Jews would find it even easier to connect to that feeling of relying on random encounters and the kindness of strangers as a form of manifestation as the will of the lord.
What film/media has inspired you lately?
I just watched The Jinx recently and was amazed by the power of a well-directed and well researched documentary.
What do you do when you’re not filmmaking?
I write novels.
Lastly, gefilte fish: delicious, or disgusting?
It’s delicious, no doubt about it.