Israeli Academy Award winner Guy Nattiv, whose 20-minute film “Skin” about racial tensions won for Best Short Film, is looking to his own family’s haunted past for his next film.
“Harmony,” a documentary about his Holocaust-surviving grandmother, will delve deeply into Nattiv’s family life, reported the Israeli Ynet news site.
The film is ostensibly about Nattiv’s effort to bring the body of his grandmother, who was 70 at the time of her death in Virginia, for burial in Israel, fulfilling his grandfather’s final wish, Nattiv told Ynet following his Oscar win.
But it’s what took her to Virginia in the first place that provides the drama, as the film will chronicle Nattiv trying to find out why his grandmother left a full life in Israel. The movie will reportedly be shown first on HOT8, the Israeli documentary channel.
Nattiv told Ynet that his grandmother cut herself off from her family to join an American cult in the 1980s, where she lived with 35 other women in a Virginia compound, and died penniless.
“It was devastating for us,” he said.
Nattiv himself was drawn from Israel to the US, where he moved four years ago after marrying American Jewish actor Jaime Ray Newman in 2012 in Tel Aviv.
He told online magazine “Close-Up Culture” that “Skin” was his first American narrative work, as well as his first time working in English with an American crew and actors. The short film’s cast included Lonnie Chavis, who plays the child version of character Randall Pearson in TV series “This Is Us.”
Nattiv’s very first film, the 2003 seven-minute “Strangers,” which he said was made in his backyard, was also shortlisted for an Oscar.
An upcoming full-length feature, also called “Skin” and based on the white supremacist culture of his Oscar-winning short, has already been screened at recent film festivals in Toronto and Berlin, and will be released in theaters this summer.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.