National Film Board of Canada to Animate Israel's West Bank Barrier For Theatrical Doc


TORONTO - It may not be Ronald Reagan telling the Soviets to tear down the Berlin Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

But the Oscar-winning National Film Board of Canada is set to make some waves with a digital animated adaptation of British playwright David Hare’s controversial stage production Wall, which explores the giant separation wall between Israel and Palestine.

Hare performed the original Wall play as a monologue on a concrete barrier that’s four times as long as the former Berlin Wall, and in places twice as high.

The NFB feature adaptation, written by Hare and directed by Canadian Cam Christiansen, follows the playwright as he takes his audience to the Middle East on a tour of a futile barrier as missiles soar overhead into Israel, and Palestinian humiliation in front of endless checkpoints.

Hare and fellow actors were recorded reading from the documentary script earlier this month in a motion-capture studio in London, England.

Christiansen will next create a collage of motion capture, illustration, photography, live action and hand-drawn animation as part of a digital production slated to wrap in 2014.

Wall is produced by David Christensen and Bonnie Thompson and executive produced by David Christensen for the NFB in Edmonton.

Canada’s public filmmaker has never shied away from controversial coverage of the Middle East, with earlier documentaries like the 2004 film Discordia, by Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal, and about a 2002 visit to Montreal’s Concordia University by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that sparked a student riot.

The NFB was also behind Yoav Shamir’s 2007 film Flipping Out, about compulsory military service in Israel.

Hare previously probed the Middle East in Via Dolorosa, a play that became a movie by director Stephen Daldry.

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