In His Image
Directed By: Tami Ravid (First Feature Film) /
Netherlands / 2020 / Hebrew, Russian (English Subtitles)
Documentary / Drama
Territory Rights: WORLD-WIDE, USA, CANADA (English), CANADA (French), ASIA, EUROPE, AUSTRALIA, ISRAEL, EDUCATIONAL, NON-THEATRICAL
Exhibition Format: DCP, Prores/QT
Option for Live Appearance: Q&A
Name of guest: Tami Ravid
Role of guest: director
Does a dead man have the right to become a father? Do parents who have lost their son have the right to become grandparents after his death? In Israel, the drive to procreate has taken on an extra dimension. In His Image follows the bereaved parents of three young Israeli men as they attempt to produce grandchildren using the sperm of their dead sons – all of whom died during military service.
The first couple, Haderet and Ron, have been defeated in court as their son’s widow opposed them. Yet still they refuse to give up. The Fitusi couple have won their court case and found potential mother Inbal to have his child – the film follows their visits to the IVF clinic, with peaks of hope and troughs of disappointment. Ludmilla, a single mother from the Ukraine, has already succeeded: we see her with her newly formed family: granddaughter Veronica and the child’s mother Irina.
These stories unfold against a backdrop of national and personal memorializing – from cemeteries and monuments to remembrance services. These images of mourning are set against lively and immediate scenes of the Fitusis and Inbal at the fertility clinic, complete with test tubes of frozen yet still living semen and always the hope of a possible pregnancy.
Throughout, the visuals are punctuated by the voice of filmmaker Tami Ravid reading from the court verdicts. These quotes summarize the ethical, philosophical and religious arguments that lead, via the judicial process, to reproduction after death – and help to explain why this is happening in Israel specifically.
In His Image investigates the connection between bereavement, mourning and the drive to procreate in Israel, raising questions about our (in)ability to accept the limits of life and death.