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Yaron Zilberman (Watermarks, A Late Quartet) delivers a terrific, fact-based political thriller in Incitement. The movie profiles Yigal Amir—the Orthodox Yemenite Jewish Israeli law student who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995—by telling the story of Amir's life over the course of the year that lead up to the murder.

The assassination took place as Rabin was finalizing the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (the PLO). The Olso Agreement was a comprehensive peace settlement with between Israelis and Palestinians that many of Rabin’s countrymen violently opposed because they saw it as appeasement and because it involved giving up land controlled by Israel since their Six Day War with the Palestinians. It was the closest the warring neighbors got to an actual please deal but that chance died with Rabin, and the assassination paved the way for the right-wing leadership of the current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who strongly opposed the Oslo Accords. 

Zilberman does a masterful job constructing his narrative and movie around actual events of 1995. The film is shot in the 1.37 aspect ratio in a style that blends seamlessly with actual news accounts and video from that year. Of course, in telling the story of Amir, the film elevates an angry young murderer to an attractive movie protagonist and gives his views another wide public hearing. But Amir’s views are, arguably, already shared by more Israelis now than in 1995, so it’s not like Zilberman is creating a myth about mystery man few know much about. 

If anything, he is doing the opposite by exploring how an angry, intelligent young man (especially one who feels marginalized by society and unlucky in love) can be radicalized by the hate-speech of politicians, religious leaders, and right-wing media. This powerful film is a history lesson, a compelling story, and a warning to other deeply divided democracies.

Twitter Capsule: 
Riveting and elucidating profile of the young man who murdered Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin debunks the simplistic angry-lone-nut narrative so often used to disconnect assassins and mass-murderers from the societies that radicalize them.

Directed by Yaron Zilberman
Produced by Yaron Zilberman, Tamar Sela, Ruth Cats, Sharon Harel, Ron Leshem, and David Silber

Written by Yaron Zilberman and Ron Leshem

With: Yehuda Nahari Halevi, Amitay Yaish Ben Ousilio, Anat Ravnitzki, Yoav Levi, Daniella Kertesz, Sivan Mast, Dolev Ohana, Raanan Paz, Eldad Ben Tora, Lola S. Frey, and Gur Ya'ari

Cinematography: Amit Yasur
Editing: Shira Arad and Yonatan Weinstein
Music: Raz Mesinai

Runtime: 123 min
Release Date: 12 September 2019
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1