28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Koudelka Shooting Holy Land
Koudelka Shooting Holy Land

Koudelka Shooting Holy Land

director: Gilad Baram
original title: Koudelka Shooting Holy Land
country: Czech Republic, Germany
year: 2015
running time: 72 min.


Photographing armed conflict is a huge opportunity for artists, but at the same time it carries a risk of bias or emotional manipulation. Czech photographer Josef Koudelka plunged into this difficult task for the second time: the first time was during the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968. This time he headed for the hotbed of contention between Israel and Palestine. Director Gilad Baram observed him at his creative work for five years – a solitary artist maintaining a discreet distance while physically experiencing the act of photographing. Austere images of landscape divided by concrete walls and barbed wire reveal the horrifying absurdity of the gulf between two nationalities.

I’ve never photographed any armed conflict, because none has upset me as much as the events in my own country – Czechoslovakia. They affected me directly and in that exceptional situation I felt I should get out the best of what’s in me.


Gilad Baram is an Israeli photographer, visual artists, and documentary filmmaker who divides his time between Berlin and Jerusalem. His work focuses primarily on how photography has changed in the era of digital media. Since 2009, he has been working as an assistant to photographer Josef Koudelka. In the past he worked in Israeli film and TV production. His film Koudelka: Shooting the Holy Land is his directorial debut.

more about film

director: Gilad Baram
producer: Radim Procházka, Helena Uldrichová, Gilad Baram
script: Gilad Baram, Elisa Purfürst
photography: Gilad Baram
editing: Elisa Purfürst
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