Slava Greenberg


In the years following the Second Intifada, Israeli cinema has centered on two prominent themes: “the mundane,” focusing on the civilian experience, mainly through the feminine body, and “the penitent soldier,” focusing on the masculine body in combat. This article offers an aesthetic and political analysis of three mundane Israeli films produced shortly after the Second Intifada, which locate recent and past traumatic events at hospitals, beaches, and the sea: Nuzhat al-Fuad (Judd Ne’eman, 2006), Jellyfish (Shira Gefen and Etgar Keret, 2007), and It All Begins at Sea (Eitan Green, 2008). The films present the sea as a space in which the body is dismantled, while the conventional hospital is the space that diagnoses and disciplines the body but is unsuccessful at healing it. The return to the sea, as the first traumatic site, expresses the radical longing for intensive treatment to get at the roots of the current symptom that appears in the hospital.