A journey through timeFragments - Isolated memories and images from a time long gone, the raw material from which this documentary is made. The saga of a family and a city, the story of individuals caught in the whirlpool of history. The filmmaker's personal diary and a portrait of his family interwoven with the history of Jerusalem, the city of his birth.
A journey through JerusalemThe axis of this chronicle runs east to west, through colorful streets, rich architecture and the somber ruins of past wars. At the center is Jaffa Gate, the main entrance to the Old City. The meeting point, often violent, between old and new, Orient and Occident, Arabs and Jews.
A journey through imagesTracking the evolution of image making. From painting to still photography to film, "Fragments" presents a unique visual documentation, uncovered from archives, family albums, home movies and postcards. Cinema examining its own language.
FIRST CYCLEChapter 1: MAMILA (57 minutes)
Childhood in the shadow of a divided city and a journey through the family album from 1950 to 1968. A boy's travels to Paris, Istanbul and Yaounde.
Back in Jerusalem, a look at the Mamila neighborhood, outside the Old City walls, around Jaffa Gate. It was once the city center. The chronicle of its destruction began in 1948, when it found itself partly in the no-man's land between Israel and Jordan.
Chapter 2: DISTANT TIMES (43 minutes)
Across the border lay the Old City. I discovered it on my return to Israel in the summer of 1968. Among its alleys, I met Jacqueline for the first time. I tour the city's sites, today and in times gone by, and locate the ancient graves of the Havilio family on the Mount of Olives.
Chapter 3: ENGRAVERS OF METAL, PAINTERS OF LIGHT (64 minutes)
Jerusalem in the 19th century, as depicted by painters, photographers, the first filmmaker and through testimonies by travelers to the Holy Land.
A chronicle of three generations of the Rosenthal family, my mother's family, who settled in the city in 1812, and waited for the coming of the Messiah.
SECOND CYCLEChapter 4: SARINA MENACHEM (54 minutes)
My grandmother, Sarina, was a young girl when her family emigrated from Skopje to Jerusalem on the eve of World War I. Her cousin, Ezra, recounts the hardships as the family struggled through the war. To save her family from starvation, Sarina married Nissim Havilio, 30 years her senior.
World War I as seen from Jaffa Gate; the last years of Ottoman rule and the entry of the British Army in December 1917.
Chapter 5: WITHIN THE WALLS (34 minutes)
In 1920, the biggest snowfall in memory blanketed Jerusalem, and with it, and era came to an end. Nothing would ever be the same: the invasion of the modern world and the ignition of the violent conflict between Jews and Arabs in the city.
The childhood memories of my father, Shlomo Havilio, are from the Jewish Quarter. Ephraim Paritzki talks about his sister, my grandmother, Golde, and about family life around the cowshed in the Muslim Quarter.
My camera captures the images of the Old City streets during the Intifada.
Chapter 6: JAFFA ROAD (40 minutes)
From Jaffa Gate, I travel westward, through the new city and down the Judean Hills to Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv and the sea. After the earthquake in 1927, the Havilio family moved to Jaffa Road, opposite the Mahane Yehuda market. The family sweets factory moved to the new commercial center in Mamila.
Chapter 7: ABBA ("FATHER") (66 minutes)
A night excursion among the synagogues during the "Selichot," prayers of penitence.
A look through the picture album of a Sephardi family from the old Yishuv, living in the heart of the Mahane Yehuda market.
Shlomo Havilio, captivated by Zionism, rebelled against his father and adopted a secular lifestyle. He joined the Haganah underground and his life became linked to the struggle for a Jewish state. During a secret mission to Egypt, he met Haya Rosenthal. On December 2, 1947, a violent Arab demonstration ended in the burning of the Mamila commercial center, marking the first day of Israel's War of Independence. It was also the wedding day of Shlomo and Haya, my parents.
Texts and photos © Ron Havilio
Design © Karina Pasternak