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Hurwitz in Jerusalem

Abstract of the presentation by Sylvie Lindeperg, Universite de Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle, and Annette Wievorka, Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques, at the conference on "Filming the Eichmann Trial," February 22-23, 2009

Based on the archives of the state of Israel and those of filmmaker Leo Hurwitz, Sylvie Lindeperg and Annette Wieviorka examine the unprecedented decision to videotape the Eichmann trial in its entirety, and subsequent negotiations between Milton Fruchtman of Capital Cities Broadcasting Corporation, the state of Israel, and the judges in charge of the case. Their study of the filmmaker’s preparation for the recording sheds light on his intentions and his expectations of the coming trial. Their analysis of the recorded documents reveals the principal figures in Hurwitz’s scenario and the disparity between his preconception and the reality of the trial. Finally, Lindeperg and Wieviorka reflect on the interaction between judicial ritual and TV drama and the unavoidable influence of the recording itself.

Center for Near Eastern Studies