Cinema Review: Incitement | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, May 27th, 2020  


Studio: Greenwich Entertainment
Directed by Yaron Zilberman

Feb 04, 2020 Web Exclusive
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Director Yaron Zilberman puts us inside the mind of an Israeli Zionist, as he goes from university student to the assassin of former Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, in this searching drama.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the time for peace is now.” It’s 1995, this is the message Israel’s Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, is preaching to the world. It’s a message that is going down better abroad than it is at home. Law student Yigal Amir (Yahuda Nahari Halevi) has served his military duty and is becoming increasingly frustrated by his nation’s Prime Minister in his approach to the on-going war with Palestine. Yigal, along with many other Zionists, seems to think that peace is not achievable and that the Arabs must be driven out of the land promised to the Jews by God.

Yigal, son of diasporan Jews from Yemen, is growing more engaged with how best to tackle his divine right as a political stalemate. We see him involved in right-wing activism, showing an interest in firearms and growing ever more frustrated with his father’s wish for peace. He distances himself from his family and anyone else unwilling to blame Rabin for recent suicide bombings in Israel whilst also supporting the massacre of Muslims that provoked such attacks.

As Yigal’s thirst for seeing Rabin dead grows, he looks to find ways to twist the Torah’s scripture to suit his wishes. He becomes obsessed with the Jewish laws of the Informer and the Pursuer. Scrutinizing the texts and willfully ignoring Thou Shalt Not Kill, he finds a reason, as manipulative religious extremists do, to take a life.

The film’s director, Yaron Zilberman, has taken to capturing this era in the Israel-Palestine conflict as a way of dissecting why and how Israelis and Palestinians are still, 25 years later, in a bloody divide. By taking us into the mind of an extremist, Zilberman lets us watch the idea of divine right take root and poison someone who already has it all. He stirs the pot, seamlessly mixing archive footage with his thrilling character study, capturing moments of love for current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one of the many men responsible for inciting (the titular incitement) the assassination of Rabin.

Incitement is a film with sadness in its eyes, referring us back to a leader ambitious for peace, wishing he were still here. It lets us watch the rage of a deluded young man swell to a point that has triggered an unshakable hatred between the people of Israel and Palestine. As a viewer, it’s tough to watch this search for peace be rejected. We are constantly next to Yigal as he dismisses each speech from Rabin with disillusionment from this shoulder-rubbing politics as he becomes more and more sure of what it is God wants. “Democracy is the will of the people. But what about the will of God?” It’s a question that throws out all the usual contradictions involved in religious extremism. It’s a blindness to when it is God’s will is ever really thought of. Zilberman doesn’t know, all he knows is we never seem to think of anyone’s will but our own. 


Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 5/10


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