19th Titanic Filmfestival

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Reymond Amsalem about the terrorist attacks

Reymond Amsalem, the actress of Seven Minutes in Heaven, an Israeli-French-Hungarian co-production, was Titanic’s guest. Reymond plays the survivor of a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. This film is the first movie to analyse this theme.


“The real hero of Seven Minutes in Heaven is Jerusalem itself. The city suffers just as much as Galia, my character, and in a certain way it is just as much complicated, introverted and silent as her”, started the actress at the beginning of the Q&A. Reymond told the viewers about the time of the first assaults and that the inhabitants’ attitude hasn’t really changed ever since. In the beginning everybody was shocked by the explosions, and most people thought it was too early to talk about the events, and for this reason it was really hard to convince the collaborators of the film to take part in the job. Since then however, people think that the only solution is to live their lives normally instead of closing up: “this is the only way to remain undefeated by the terror”, said the actress.

As she said, she also used to get overcome by strong anguish on the bus; she kept scanning the faces, the people behaving strangely or embarrassed. The most frightful was however the fact that even if she seemed to discover such people, she didn’t dare to do anything in the fear of accusing someone wrongly. “Last time I had such anxiety was 12 years ago, I haven’t taken the bus since”, said Reymond. While preparing for Galia’s role, she talked to several survivors, such as a waitress for instance who was just handing over the assassin his drink when he blew up the café in Tel-Aviv. “The girl said that she could actually feel it that the man was going to explode the place, but instead of fear or wanting to escape she felt pity, wanting to help him.”

According to Reymond, most assassins act out of the desire to get respect and financial support from their family, and it often turns out that many survivors were actually trying to get away from the inescapability of their lives. It is difficult to judge them, because they do not act out of political commitment or hate: those really full of hatred remain in the background, controlling, they are not the ones to sacrifice themselves. The film deliberately avoids getting involved politically and taking position; as a result of the filmmakers’ concept the suicidal assassin is just as much a confused, vulnerable human being as the victims. According to Reymond it is impossible to make a Hollywood remake of the movie, because it is only the Israelis who are familiar enough with the issue.

The film can be seen once more tomorrow afternoon at 14.30 in Uránia!


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