MARCH 15, 201037
Seeking Smart Satire
Two young filmmakers explore the limits of the laughable
ITH IRANIAN FLAGSsewn onto the breastpockets of their green hos-pital scrubs, filmmakersYossi Atia and ItamarRose walk through Dimona, the southerncity, best known for its proximity to theNegev Nuclear Research Center 13 kiome-ters (8 miles) to the southeast.The two stop a woman in sunglasses anda straw hat on the street. Saying they areIranian nuclear inspectors, Atia hands her anIsraeli flag and holds an Iranian one, offeringher a trade: Iran will give up its nuclearbomb if Israel does likewise.“That makes sense,” she says. Roseblows a plastic horn while Atia conducts anuclear disarmament ceremony with thewoman.In the last five years, Rose and Atia haveposed as the Israel Defense Forces soldierGilad Shalit kidnapped by Hamas, Arabsfrom demolished villages, and former primeminister Ariel Sharon in the course of mak-ing satirical short films about Israeli society.In late 2009, they released their first DVD, acollection of nine films that previously hadbeen available only online or at selectscreenings at home and abroad. Now theyare working on a feature-length movie.Strongly influenced by the Anglo-Jewishcomedy sensation Sacha Baron Cohen, theyhope to redefine satire in Israel.“The minute you show something in afunny way you take a step back,” Atia says.“Like a military checkpoint. When you see iton TV, or in an article, the audience becomesconditioned to seeing something like this anddoesn’t pay attention. But when you show itin a new light, the audience sees it afresh.”Rose, 30, is tall, cleanly shaven and punc-tual. Atia, also 30, is shorter, with a mop of black hair and arrives late to a café momentsfrom his home in central Tel Aviv. They fin-ish each others’sentences and crack jokes ateach others’expense.
SATIRISTS: Itamar Rose, left,and Yossi Atia at a Tel Aviv cafe
DA NI E L L A CHE S L OW