The film 4.11.02 by Sagi Groner is an intimate and personal document of the everyday reality of living under the constant threat of terrorist attacks. Groner, born in Israel and living in the Netherlands, visits his friends in Kfar-Saba for his birthday. When there is a suicide attack in a shopping mall near their house they go to the site to look. Groner directs the camera at himself and his friends. In sharp contrast to the news reports we see daily in the media, the film shows the consequences of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. As an “insider-outsider” Groner manages to document the event in an intimate and detached manner at the same time. The discussions between the friends on the way home and on arrival are both fascinating and confrontational. “Did it shatter reality for you?,” Groner asks one of his friends, referring to the experience of going to the location instead of seeing it on television. “On TV it’s a show,” the friend replies seemingly unmoved. “Going there is becoming part of the show. It’s slightly different, but on the bottom line it’s the same.” When, at the end of the film, the conversation returns to the order of the day, the complexity of life in conflict situations becomes painfully clear. The harshness of daily life going on as usual is both shocking and comforting. It shows the existential ability of man to adjust to extreme circumstances.
Sagi Groner, born 1971, lives and works in Amsterdam. Recent exhibitions (selection): 15th Videobrasil International Electronic Art Festival, Săo Paulo, 2005; Travelling Without Moving, W139, Amsterdam, 2004; Schabbernak, Netwerk Galerij, Aalst, 2004; Sanctuary Mental Space, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, 2003; 2nd Tirana Biennial, Tirana, 2003.