section Documentary Film Competition

Knock On The Door

    • Ohad Milstein
    • Aya Elia
  • IL
  • 2023
  • 54 min

They are the "angels of death" - officers of the Israel Defense Forces who have to deliver the news of death to the families of killed soldiers. A deeply thoughtful film about a universal theme.

In September 1997 naval officer Itamar Elia was killed in an ambush in Lebanon. Since then, nothing has been the same for his mother, father and sister. Delivering news of death, in the words of a so-called "casualty officer", is like cutting the lives of the affected families with a knife: into a before and an after. In this documentary film from Ohad Milstein and Aya Elia, Itamar's sister, three casualty officers report on the difficulties and responsibilities the job entails. They must adhere to strict protocol and precise wording, leaving no room for doubt when delivering the news of a death. The extinguishing visible in the eyes of the recipients of the message also burdens those tasked with delivering it. For co-director Aya Elia, herself only 11 when her brother died, there was to be no more happy childhood or adolescence. Feelings of guilt, emptiness and immense grief determine the life of the family to this day; a fate shared by many families in Israel. A film about loss and death and how a society deals with the impending death of military personnel, be they children, parents or spouses. A human emotional view that makes us painfully aware of what is actually behind the losses in numbers and the strategic/factual discourses on arms deliveries and territorial gains.
Text: Kira Taszman
English: Peter Rickerby

On 14.6. at 17:00 at Kino Toni director Aya Elia will be present after the film for a film talk.
On 16.6. at 17:00 at Kino Krokodil both directors, Aya Elia and Ohad Milstein, will be present after the film for a film talk.

watch trailer

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original title Knock On The Door

international title Knock On The Door

german title Knock On The Door

JFBB section Documentary Film Competition

  • director
    • Ohad Milstein
    • Aya Elia

country/countries IL

year 2023

duration 54 min

Portrait of Ohad Milstein

Ohad Milstein

BIO Ohad Milstein is an award winning Israeli documentary filmmaker and producer. He teaches Cinema at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Screen-based Arts Department) in Jerusalem and lives in Tel Aviv. Ohad studied Cinema at Tel Aviv University and graduated from the Department of Art & Photography at The Bezalel Academy of Art and Design with an MFA.