Brilliant Punitive Raids is a sequence of still photos that zoom in on the personal experience of two Israeli soldiers involved and the unsettling contradiction between their make-believe play of two people in love and the cold-blooded killing of a man.
Shot on location in Tunis and Tel Aviv
Brilliant Punitive Raids springs from the fascination with the as equally adored as detested PLO leader Khalil al-Wazir, better known as Abu Jihad, and his assassination in 1988 in Tunis. The attack on his life instantly made Abu Jihad into a martyr and hero, however, in the Western world his life and death did not become part of the collective memory.
‘The Abu Jihad operation may make us feel good, may be good for our egos, but it does not in itself really address the weighty problems this country should be struggling with. The killing of Abu Jihad is a symbolic illustration of what is happening to us. It was an operation made for a nostalgia movie about the good old days of brilliant punitive raids – because it does not advance us one inch towards a solution of the problems that have produced this or that “Abu”.’
> Columnist Yoel Marcus commented days after the assasination in 1988 in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
A story starting from an absent image.
An installation in three parts.
Film (one channel HD, color, sound, 10 minutes)
< Khalil al-Wazir in Sidi Bou Saïd (Tunis)
Archive images of Khalil al-Wazir and his unsolicited alter ego