A Tank Translated

  • USA
  • 2002
What is a tank? Omer Fast's video installation A Tank Translated provides no definitive answer. At first glance, the rapidly metamorphosing word in the subtitles appear to the result of eye fatigue. After a longer look, one suspects the work of a hesitant translator, hoping to hear an innocent narrative in the stories told by four young men - Israelis who spent three years of military service together in a tank, both training and fighting. In Fast's hands, the documentary film genre begins to stutter. As the commander, gunner, loader and driver speak, the artist becomes a visible, if not annoying, presence who twists their testimonies into banal tales of male bravado and into observations that are contradicted in successive layers of translation. As part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a battle where the weapons are not only tanks but also television crews, Fast's work underscores other forms of translation and displacement that are never questioned: from Hebrew to Arabic, from the occupied territories to television sets around the world, from inside the tank to the front of the camera from politics to the art world. (Jennifer Allen) Omer Fast (Jerusalem, 1972) uses his films to explore the various possibilities offered by the cinematic medium. The borders of the documentary film genre begin to melt when Omer Fast links and manipulates the collective imagery and the individual unconscious on the same layer of his medium.
Omer Fast
Countries of production
USA, Germany
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2003

Programme IFFR 2003

TRUE STORIES Installaties

Read more about this programme
A non-realizable Film (partial views)

A non-realizable Film (partial views)

How can we comprehend the reality of a female political prisoner, shaped as we are by the media in our view of the world, without resorting to sentimentality or rigidity? How can we understand our own freedom in relation to that of hers? How can we see these two realities in relation to each other? How can we approach them? Alejandra Riera has worked since 1995 on a continuous investigation focusing on cultural differences and the political implications of media registration. Riera regards visual work as the place where more or less unfocused research provides knowledge and autonomous procedures. She regards her investigations as collective projects. In January 2001, together with Doina Petrescu, she founded the `association (des pas)', a place for social and political investigation and for cross fertilisation between art and architecture. Together, they have participated in Documenta XI, where they presented Fîlmekî ku mirov nikare bikisîne - A Non-realisable Film.

Alejandra Riera
  • France

IFFR 2003