Cinematographic Brief: Recollection by Kamal Aljafari (2015)



Curator for the Ciné-Palestine festival in Paris, Anaïs Farine entitled her text about Kamal Aljafari’s film “Cinematographic experiments for a reappropriation of the city of Jaffa.”

Translated from French by Natasha Marie Llorens.

Kamal Aljafari conceived Recollection as “a way to occupy space cinematographically — to occupy other people’s films, especially Israeli films” (Kamal Aljafari, Ballast, October 19, 2018). By diverting images of Israeli and Hollywood fiction films shot in Jaffa from the 1960s to the 1990s, Recollection proposes to rewrite the city’s filmic history.

Evident from the first scene, Aljafari’s erasure of characters from Hollywood and Israeli films and his reframing within the images reveal both the film extras and the architecture — which were originally rendered as set — as central characters of Recollection. These initial shots plot the deconstruction / reconstruction work that will follow. The director digitally erased various elements and created virtual movements inside the original frames; movements that seem to be those of a real camera and literally delve into the representational space of Israeli and Hollywood films in order to give them a new dimension (see the May 27, 2018 masterclass with Kamal Aljafari organized as part of Ciné-Palestine Festival in Paris).