DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT- Asaf Saban von Delegation
When I was 17, I went to Poland with my class. The strongest impression I remember from that trip is a feeling of disappointment and indifference as I stood in front of the sites and places that were meant to shock me.
My memories of this trip revolve around the random and unplanned moments that always occur between one memorial and the next.
DELEGATION is a film that combines two familiar genres – a road trip and a coming-of- age film. The combination of these two genres creates the distance that I believe is necessary to safely traverse the “minefield” of Holocaust representation in film and create a complex dialectical world that works primarily from an emotional place. These starting points allow me to approach this explosive subject with restraint and clarity.
My intention is to take the viewer on a journey of getting to know the characters gradually and without biographical introduction.
The script is structured to allow a kind of zoom-in – from the collective to the personal.
I try to reveal the individuals hiding behind the white sweatshirts and focus on the problems they face in their lives – especially when they are “cast out” from their natural
environment and brought into an alien one, steeped in an incomprehensible past bubbling under the surface. The script was written with the awareness that the strength of the film depends on the incidental, ordinary moments – the significant gap between the grand drama of history and the small dramas of life.
The trip to Poland has become an almost official step in the process of Israeli citizenship, which parallels with coming of age of every young person. It culminates, not coincidentally, a year later in being drafted into the army.
At the height of adolescence – with all the confusion, lack of perspective, hormonal
chaos and emotional upheaval it entails – tens of thousands of young Israelis each year go abroad for the first time without their parents to experience an emotional intensity that is hard to process and understand for an adult, let alone a teenager.
The nature and structure of the trip is intended to create an emotional experience that in many ways resembles the religious experience of a pilgrimage to holy sites. The natural urge of young people to undergo shocking experiences adds another layer to their emotional expectations of this trip to Poland.