(September 15, 2017 – Toronto, ON) This is a different kind of ghost. The title does not refer to the U.S. series Ghost Hunters where a group of people rode around the country looking for ghosts in all the wrong places. This film, Ghost Hunting, which opens the Toronto Palestine Film Festival in Toronto next week, is about real people and their memories.
It all began when director Raed Andoni placed an ad in a newspaper in Ramallah. He was looking for former inmates of the Moskobiya interrogation centre in Jerusalem. Not just any inmates, but those also are craftsmen, architects or actors. He himself had been jailed there when he was 18.
When he found the players for his film he started work on the sets, as exact as possible replicas of the centre’s interrogation rooms and cells, all built to scale under the close supervision from the former inmates and based on their memories.
It was in this realistic setting that the men would subsequently re-enact their interrogations, discuss details about the prison, and express the humiliation they experienced during their detention. Using techniques that are reminiscent of the so-called ‘theatre of the oppressed’ they worked together to dramatise their real-life experiences. Their reconstruction brought long repressed emotions and undealt trauma to the fore, and to be sure the film had an impact on the men – both physically and mentally.
Raed Andoni also appears in front of the camera, coming to terms with his own fragmented memories of imprisonment in Moskobiya thirty years ago.
Ghost Hunting won the Glasshütte Original Documentary Award at Berlin earlier this year.
For a link to the Toronto Palestine Film Festival, which runs from September 20th to the 24th, and other September film festivals, click here.