Protrait of Amos Gitai

Amos Gitai © Laura Stevens

Amos Gitai

Amos Gitai is an architect and filmmaker born in Haifa. The son of Munio Weinraub Gitai, a Bauhaus-trained architect, and Efratia Gitai (Munschik), a teacher and intellectual, Amos Gitai began architecture studies at the Technion in Haifa, but was forced to suspend them during the Yom Kippur War (1973), to enlist with an airborne medical evacuation unit. He was injured when the helicopter he was flying in was struck by a Syrian missile. During his missions, he began using a Super 8 camera to film the war. After 1973, and having graduated in architecture from Technion, he went to Berkeley University, USA, to do a PhD in architecture.

On returning to Israel, he made his first documentary in 1980, “House”, which was intended for but censored by Israeli television. Censored once more for his documentary “Field Diary” (1982), Gitai moved to Paris where he would remain for almost ten years and shoot his first fiction films. He returned to Israel following the election of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1992) and launched into prolific work, which includes numerous fictional and documentary films, in addition to exhibitions, plays, publications and teaching. 

To date, Amos Gitai has produced more than 90 works for cinema, theatre, installations and art books. His films have been screened in several retrospectives, in particular at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Lincoln Center in New York and the British Film Institute in London.  Eleven of his films have been selected in competition at the Cannes and Venice film festivals and his latest film Shikun was presented this year at the 2024 Berlinale.

He has received several prestigious awards, such as the the Roberto Rossellini Award (2005), the Leopard of Honor at the Locarno International Film (2008), the Robert Bresson Award (2013), the Paradjanov Award (2014), the Lucchino Visconti Prize (2021), Commandeur des Arts et
Lettres, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (France) and Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italy. Amos Gitai was elected in 2018 to the chair of artistic creation at the Collège de France (Paris).

As of: April 2024

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