Numerous are the reasons why this year’s Cinema City International Film Festival, Novi Sad in Serbia (from August 26 th until September 1st) is organizing a retrospective, presenting the Ibis Award for Contribution to World and European Cinema and paying homage to Israeli film director Eran Riklis. Joined by FEDEORA, the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean, we wish to draw the attention of the European and world film audience to this film director, director of films such as: Cup Final (Gmar Gavi’a, 1999), The Syrian Bride (2004), Lemon Tree (Etz Limon, 2008), The Human Resources Manager (Shlichuto Shel Hamemune Al Mashabei Enosh, 2010), Zaytoun (2012), who has managed, at every moment and in each one of his films, to remain true to himself, to his own ethics and aesthetics in his perception of the world, of human existence and everyday life.
Eran Riklis likes to have both comedic and dramatic elements in his films for one simple reason: that’s just how life is. For him that’s the texture of life – that move from huge tragedies to big comedies whether personally or globally, from day to day when all kinds of things happen and we continue living. It’s a kind of statement, a view from which he observes the bustling life of the Middle East.
Although the Middle East, the coexistence of Israelis and Palestinians, is difficult to separate from politics, Eran’s films are not political in the literal sense. They deal with psychological, economic, and political boundaries facing his heroes, similar to many individuals around the world who every day need to make decisions aware of these kind of boundaries. All his films are about people confronted with bureaucracy and people who are dealing with global, political and social situations. That’s why his films rise above the region and become universally recognized and respected. Simply, in the huge film world there are these delightful breaths of fresh air like filmmaker Eran Riklis, whose beautifully crafted, touching films create within their audience a need to do better, to think better, to be better.
His visual style is based on the approach of less is more. Often he simulates human vision. He finds the right lenses and the right distance of the camera, the right flowing approach to get the audience involved very physically. He respects his actors, stimulates them to reach their peak and encourages them to be authentic in portraying their film characters. To be closer to real people, to be closer to real life. Comic and dramatic at the same time.
Dubravka Lakic, Serbia, film selector of CCIFF