Eyal Sivan’s first film made in 1987, Aqabat-Jaber, passing through, was about a Palestinian refugee camp, and was followed in 1996 by Itsembatsemba, in which Sivan engaged with the genocide in Rwanda; the film’s subheading Rwanda One Genocide Later points out that the genocide in Rwanda is/was not the only one. At the same time Sivan was already working on his documentary The Specialist, finished in 1999, which was about the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961. Sival pursues the question of how such cases of collective violence and mass murder can occur.
One of Sivan’s most recent projects is an online archive of video interviews with Jewish contemporary witnesses of the Nakba, the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homes in 1948. Thirty hours of material have already been collected. “Testimonies of Jewish fighters at the time of Al Nakba,” Sivan remarks, “can be the first step toward a wider project, of an online Common Archive. For each war crime, social trauma, there would be a platform with access to audiovisual testimonies of both perpetrators and victims. It would provide an historiographic and political paradigm that would challenge the binary oppositions of the traditional archive, such as victims/perpetrators, dominating/domineer, colonizer/colonized, in order to propose ways of creating common narratives.”