HD | One channel | Sound | 14:47 | Video Installation / movie theater | Israel | 2010
The film Ofakim forms part of the BaMidbar project, initiated by Joseph Dadoune in 2008, in order to further the cultural and social life in Ofakim. This project brings about the involvement of the local Ofakim community in the various arts media: staging, acting, and photography.
One of the main scenes of the film depicts a group of youths and lasses standing motionless in a deserted factory. They then move out to landscapes and sites near Ofakim: fields cultivated by the Kibbutzim, the Hatzerim and Ze’elim military bases, the desert. The youngsters march with a missile in what seems an endless and pointless Sisyphean march.
Here, Dadoune aims to draw a cultural and social portrait of the laboring class of our times via the story of Ofakim, a town at the peripheral edge of Israel – thus being a microcosm of the fragile Israeli reality and of the complex reality of life in this threatened area, at the peripheral edge on the desert horizon.
The film was shot in part in the deserted building of the Of-Ar textile plant (Of-Ar: Ofakim-Argentina – half the cost of its establishment came from the Israeli state, and half from an investor from Argentina). This was designed by architect Rudolf Troessler, and was officially inaugurated by the then Minister of Industry and Commerce, Pinchas Sapir, in 1961. It’s closure in 1986 marked the economic downturn of this unemployment stricken town.
The young actors in this film are already a third generation of immigrants from North Africa and India, and a second generation of immigrants from the former Soviet Union – the sons and daughters of proletariats, some of whom had worked in Of-Ar.
This group of youngsters underwent a study period of five months, within which it participated in trips in the area surrounding the town, a workshop that prepared them for taking part in the film with Joseph Dadoune, a master’s class in acting with actress Evelyn HaGoel, Yoga classes, lectures, and visiting museums for Contemporary Art.
This film ;was produced with the intention of emphasizing the cultural, social, and environmental landscape of the South,and with the purpose of enhancing the place of local culture within the overall Israeli cultural sphere.
Carrying out this project in Ofakim, with the cooperation of its inhabitants, marks a vision of a multi-cultural space and of a society that does not turn its back on its varied origins, and does not limit itself to present day vogues.
Written and Directed by Yosef Joseph Dadoune
Producer : Anna Somershaf
Cinematography : Patrick Doberenz
Editor : Yael Hersonski
Sound : Nimrod Shalom
Sound designer : Gilles Laurent
Colorist : Dima Lidhov
Production manager : Idith Vechter
Camera assistant : Moran weissfisch
Technical support : Ori Alon
Production assistants :
Catering : Cochy Abuharon
Yoga teacher : Patricia Cohen
Production of " In the desert" project
With the support of :
Sapir College, Sderot
Israel Lottery Council for the Arts
Partnership 2000 program
The Cinema Project, The Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts
Thanks to :
Sapir College, Sderot
Air force Museum :
Municipality of Ofakim :
Community center of Ofakim :
Special thanks to :
Keren Erez Asif
Drorit Gur Arie
Documentation: The premiere of the film “Ofakim” 26.05.2010, in the Patish cave in Ofakim (Ofakim Park). Photos : Elad Sarig