Notes 2: The Identity Racket

by danaeelon

Photographs by Philip Touitou

Three eighty-year-old olive trees are supported by three steel columns, fifteen meters above the ground. This environmental sculpture, called The Olive Park, on the outskirts of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel sits in what was once no mans land,  on the border of the green line with the West Bank.
To its right is a lucrative field of organic cherry trees belonging to the nearby kibbutz and maintained by foreign workers from Thailand. Between the cherry trees  and the Olive Park, a narrow road leads to the Palestinian village of Sur Baher on whose lands the cherry trees are now planted.

The park  is deserted.  I have always been amazed by this major public space placed ironically in one of the most contentious areas of the city.  Only five years ago, these  olive trees had the mesmerizing view of the single mine-field left by the municipality in place since 1967.  If one wonders how the Olive Trees survive, they are connected to an internal drip nozzle irrigation system.  I searched on-line for what the artist had in mind and found the following quote “The work deals with concepts of rootedness and disconnection that mark the complex relation of our civilization with the earth …Olive trees, ancient symbol of strength, fertility and peace, continue their life in a transplanted and disconnected state.” ( Ran Morin,  Environmental Sculpture.)

I discovered the park about ten years ago,  I had a motor bike at the time, and a particular hobby was to ride through unexplored areas of Jerusalem.  I was attracted to the seemingly afloat trees from afar, a dramatic view of the desert behind them. It was a hot summer day, and rather late in the afternoon.  I drove my scooter on to the dirt road leading to the pillars of concrete. I reached them, and looked around, listening to the crickets and watching the small  lizards racing about.  I felt I was in the opening chapter of  Camus’  “The Stranger”.  Then, in the distance behind me, under the Olive Trees I saw a young man. Just like in the book.  I must have been standing there for a few minutes when  the young man came up behind me.  The encounter did not feel particularly friendly, but, as I was studying Arabic at the time, I could think of nothing else to do but try speaking it,  Maybe  out of embarrassment or having nothing better to say.


P.S Jerusalem RIDM Montreal Premiere!

by danaeelon

RIDM Screening in Montreal. Please come out Montreal friends. We will all be present at the premiere and hope to have an interesting Q@A! Hope to see you there.

Here is the screening information:

17 NOV

21 NOV


P.S Jerusalem coming to DOC NYC

by danaeelon

We will all be travelling down to NYC on NOV 14th, for the US premiere of P.S Jerusalem at DOC NYC in the viewfinders competition of the festival.

I hear incredible things about this important New York City documentary film festival and I am delighted to premiere P.S Jerusalem at this event.

The first screening which we will all be present will be:

on Saturday Nov 14th at 19:00 – Bow Tie Chelsea Cinema . I hope very much that you can come out on this day. There will  be an additional screening at the IFC on Monday the 16th of Nov t 10:30AM. 

I am posting here a link to the DOC NYC web site, tickets can be purchased easily on – line.

Hope to see you there!



Jewish Week Review and Interview

by danaeelon

Danae Elon honors her father by violating one of his final requests. She grew up as the only child of Amos and Beth Elon. Her father was the distinguished Israeli journalist and author of many books including “The Israelis: Founders and Sons,” published in 1970, the year Danae was born. A prominent intellectual and outspoken critic of the occupation, he grew disillusioned, and in 2002 left Israel for Italy, never to return. And he pleaded with his daughter to never go back either. He died in Tuscany in 2009.

Continue Reading…

Huffington Post review of P.S Jerusalem by Marcia G. Yerman

by danaeelon

P.S. Jerusalem: Danae Elon Returns Home

03/13/2017 06:19 pm ET

As an American Jew trying to deal with the stress of Trumpland, I can only imagine the psychological ramifications of living in Israel. As that country’s drift to the right preceded America’s, so did the heated rhetoric. We saw the American version in Trump’s campaign. Ironically, Yuval Rabin pointed to the similarities in an August 2016 editorial.

Danae Elon’s new documentary, “P.S. Jerusalem,” offers a bird’s-eye view of a society at war externally and internally. It is a three-year visual diary. Danae records her move from Brooklyn, New York back to the city of her childhood, Jerusalem.

Screening The Patriarch’s Room

by danaeelon

Montreal friends this Sunday at 13:00 at
UQAM Pavillon Judith Jasmin – 1564 rue St Denis there will be a screening of The Patriarch’s Room. Come and see it if you can its going to be back to 0 degrees outside… after the screening there will be a Q@A. Here is a link to the super dramatic trailer, whomever knows me can guess what the film is like….