On Tuesday, December 12th at 8:00 pm, Dendy Cinemas Newtown are hosting a special one-off screening of Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story, an insightful hybrid documentary in which two filmmakers investigate why telling lies is essential to an author’s survival.
Etger Keret himself is an amazing storyteller, well known in his home country of Israel. Two young Dutch filmmakers Stephane Kaas and Rutger Lemm, became fans in high school. When Lemm later interviewed Keret for a Dutch magazine, he realized that Keret’s life story is just as weird and fascinating as his fiction work. Kaas (as director) and Lemm decided to approach Keret with an ambitious plan for a film that would mix documentary, fiction and animation. To their surprise, he simply wrote back: ‘This could be great fun!’
And the film is. Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story is about Keret’s short stories, his absurd life, and above all about the importance of storytelling. The film investigates how Etgar Keret, with his many short stories and his ‘truthful’ anecdotes, became such an amazing storyteller. Kaas and Lemm filmed Keret in Tel Aviv, within the sometimes harsh reality of Israeli society, and during his New York book tour.
To do justice to Keret’s associative thinking and his rich life story, the filmmakers chose to use different storytelling techniques: animated fiction stories, made by BAFTA-winner Nina Gantz, reconstructions of Keret’s anecdotes, and a lively montage with back stage peeks. Family, friends, and famous colleagues like his wife Shira Geffen, Gur Bentwich, Jonathan Safran Foer, Gary Shteyngart and This American Life host Ira Glass were interviewed as storytelling-experts, and asked to retell their favorite Keret-story. The filmmakers slowly found out that Keret’s compulsive storytelling is actually an attempt to deal with a dark past, and to find optimism where you least expect it…
The end result is a lively, funny and moving hommage to storytelling, to ‘positive lying’ – an essential tool for survival.