Shalom Life | June 18, 2015

Documentary About Rabin's Killer Will Be Shown at Jerusalem Film Festival

Controversial film 'Beyond the Fear' features interviews with Yigal Amir's family members and friends

By: Daniel Koren

Published: June 15th, 2015 in Culture » Film » News

Photo: Yigal Amir


November 4th, 1995 will forever remain a tragic day in Israel's history, the date when beloved Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Israeli nationalist Yigal Amir.

Many experts say that we haven't been as close to peace as we were under Rabin's leadership.

Now, a documentary has been filmed that focuses entirely on Amir, and is set to screen at a forthcoming Jerusalem Film Festival. Needless to say, it's furrowed more than a few eyebrows.

The documentary, called Beyond the Fear, features interviews with Amir's friends and family members, including his wife, Larissa, and his mother Geula Amir.

Like The Death of Klinghoffer, and other artistic forms that paint a human picture of a terrorist or murderer, Beyond the Fear also depicts Amir's human qualities like the loving way in which he spoke to his son or his wife's recollection of his positive and good qualities.

“I am one of those people who viewed him as a hero,” Larisa Trimbobler-Amir says in the film. “I saw him as a little boy who did what he did out of despair. He was an idealist who looks humane and was motivated by despair, and he did a desperate thing and sacrificed himself.”

Much of the film focuses on the years-long legal battle Yigal Amir's family has waged against Israeli courts in the years following Rabin's assassination, regarding Amir's incarceration, and the conditions in which he lives.

“Yigal Amir killed Rabin because he thought that if he didn’t do it, the State of Israel would go kaput,” states Ari Shamai, Amir’s lawyer, in the film.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Rabin's granddaughter, Noah Rotman, was not pleased with the film's premise.

“As the granddaughter of the man who was killed, my opinion is clear and not objective,” she said. “To turn the man who assassinated my grandfather into a celebrity? To make him the subject of a film? I’m interested to know what the prime minister thinks about this, what people who are raising their children here think about this. Whoever wants to live in a country that glorifies murderers needs to understand that this doesn’t come without a price.”

Beyond the Fear was made by Israeli, Russian and Latvian filmmakers and is narrated mostly in Russian. Much of the funding for the film apparently came from the Russian Ministry of Culture.

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