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Home arrow CINEMA arrow [VENEZIA74] Israeli actor and director Tzahi Grad presents his "The Cousin" in the Orizzonti section
[VENEZIA74] Israeli actor and director Tzahi Grad presents his "The Cousin" in the Orizzonti section
di Redazioneweb   
35510-ha_ben_dod__the_cousin__-_director_tzahi_grad_2.jpgIsraeli actor and director Tzahi Grad played in over 40 Israeli films, including Someone to Run With by Oded Davidoff, which earned Grad the Best Actor Award of the Israeli Film Academy. His previous film, Foul Gesture of 2007, is the story of forty-year-old Michael Klienhous and his awakening from torpor that will throw him in a high-tension tornado of events.


A plot that bears the weight of prejudice whose roots go very deep in time. How can cinema fight this prejudice and what prejudice must cinema defend itself from?
I think there is a circularity of sorts, different elements that combine or cause one another. You may say prejudice; I would say fear. Fear for the stranger, the different, that grow into racism. Then again, behind racism is prejudice. Making a movie can tap into this cycle and make an influence. I believe anything can be an influence: human interactions, works of art, anything can change the way you feel and the way you think, a movie as well as any other public statement. Good art, like good cinema, can certainly make a difference. The problem is so much around us that my film can appeal to so many audiences. In Israel, it’s with Arabs. Here in Europe, for example, it’s with people coming from Africa. It is relatable in different context. In short: local story, universal theme.


As an experienced actor, what difficulties and what advantages in directing your colleagues from the other side of the camera?
I feel my experience as an actor is mainly an advantage. I feel I can X-ray what my actors feel all the time. If they don’t feel at ease, if they’re not comfortable with a line or a position, I can see it. I know how to communicate about it because I know the trade. I know how it feels and can see the situation very clearly. It goes as far as feeling too much for the actors! But that’s just me, it is a trait of my personality. I am also the producer of my films, which is yet another advantage. For every scene I imagine, every line I write, I know what it means production-wise and budget-wise. If I were a cameraman, an editor… the more the tools and the knowledge, the better you control every detail. I don’t have a formal education as a filmmaker but I am working on becoming a master.



am inspired by life, my life. I am sure the topic has been touched by many other, but the way I chose to introduce the audience to my film is reality.

I chose not to include much music in the film, I thought I didn’t need much of it. Eventually, my sound designer put together a guitar accompaniment, which is meant to voice the soul of the hero, in a way similar to western movies.



Naftali lives with his wife and children in a village in central Israel. For a long time, he has been dreaming of renovating his studio and now he can finally afford it. He hires Fahed, a Palestinian handyman recommended by his gardener, who promptly begins to work. Naftali’s plans, though, are upended by a macabre discovery: a girl has been assaulted in the same place where Naftali and Fahed went to shop for construction material. The village starts suspecting Fahed, and Naftali is the only person who can prove hes innocence./ Naftali vive con moglie e figli in un villaggio nel centro di Israele. Da molto tempo sogna di ristrutturare il proprio studio e ora ha finalmente a disposizione i fondi per trasformare questo sogno in realtà. Assume Fahed, un operaio palestinese raccomandatogli dal proprio giardiniere che subito comincia i lavori. I piani di Naftali vengono però stravolti da una macabra scoperta: una ragazza è stata aggredita nello stesso luogo in cui lui e Fahed erano andati a comprare i materiali per le ristrutturazioni. Le abitanti del villaggio sospettano immediatamente di Fahed, e Naftali è l'unico che può testimoniarne l’innocenza. (D.C.)