“No one forced me to make movies and I’m not complaining, quite the contrary, I feel lucky” – Gur Bentwich, 2019"
This year, the Arava International Film Festival is honoring director and filmmaker Gur Bentwich, to celebrate the debut of his very personal film – “Peaches and Cream” – a sober celebration and love song to Israeli filmmaking and to mark the twentieth anniversary of the making of “Total Love”, an Israeli cult classic and artistic milestone of Bentwich’s own career.
Both films will be screened at the Arava Festival with Bentwich and his filmmaking and creative collaborators attending, giving us a glimpse of the work of an uncompromising artist, who decade after decade continues to make one-of-a-kind films that combine the intensely personal with the representation of the experience of a generation or milieu of wo/men and their wonder and struggles facing life in the world they inhabit. Rather than work mostly with professional actors, Bentwich often opts to cast individuals who are characters that interest him, a choice that enhances his films and gives the viewers a sense we are being allowed to peak at the director’s real world and life. The usage of fusion of complex language and up-to-date slang, makes Bentwich’s creations at one and the same time both realistic representations of reality and contributions to shaping the identity of the society depicted.
For the Arava Festival directors, Eyal and Tinker Shiray, this tribute is also a moment of personal significance. Both have been long-time partners and artistic collaborators with Bentwich, and continue to this day. Eyal was a producer on “Total Love” and Tinker was the leading actress, and Tinker appears in “Peaches and Cream” as well.
The Arava Festival will also screen “Total Loss”, the documentary by director and filmmaker Erez Laufer, who accompanied the entire odyssey of the creative process of the filming of “Total Love”, producing a document on the difficulty of filmmaking which attempts to create a fictional narrative growing out of the reality of life itself.