Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Gazes Without Borders: On Possible Feminine Positions in Wartime

Dr. Anat Y. Zanger.

Tracing the performative positions of women vis-à-vis the “war machine”
(Deleuze and Guatari, 1987[1980]) I will focus on the relations created between the camera and the woman behind it, who is observing, documenting and interceding in the turbulent reality of military conflict in Israel in the last decade.
Three contemporary Israeli video films will be introduced: Detained (Anat Even and Ada Ushpiz 2001), The Settlers (Ruth Walk 2002), and My Terrorist (July Gerstell, 2003). In these films the directors intrude themselves into the world of Israel’s military and political reality, interfering with
the materials of the sacred Israeli discourse.
In war films, women traditionally function as the wives, sisters, mothers or girlfriends, waiting at home for their soldier / husbands/ brothers/ sons /boyfriends to return. If they are shown at the front-line, they are cast in such secondary roles as nurses or telegraph operators, assisting and supporting the men. What is exceptional in the films under discussion here is that in them, or through them, women have penetrated military territory, exploring and assessing it with their cameras. In these texts, the female directors use gender and national borders as a threshold that enable them to examined prohibited territories . Using their camera as “speech acts” they work against the hegemonic cultural memory.


Dr. Anat Y. Zanger  (Israel)
Lecturer in Film Studies
Film & Television Department
Tel-Aviv University

Anat Zanger, Lecturer at the Department of Film & Television at Tel Aviv University. Ph.D. (with distinction) from the School of Cultural Studies, Tel Aviv University, on "The Cinematic Repetition: The case of Carmen and Jeanne d’Arc (Engish). Post doctorate at MIT, Cambridge, Mass. in media studies.(1996); Completing a book on “The Film Spectator and the Screen” for the Open University at Tel Aviv. A book on Women and Cinematic Repetitions is in preparation.

  • Pacifism
  • Feminist performativity
  • Treshold
  • Terror
Person as Subject
  • Oushpiz Ada, Even Anat, July Gerstell, Ruth Walk

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)