Rabin, the Last Day

Synopsis: Itzhak Rabin's murder ended all efforts of peace, and with him the whole left wing of Israel died. The movie shows the last of his days as prime minister, and what led to his murder.
Genre: Drama, History
Director(s): Amos Gitai
  4 wins & 4 nominations.
153 min


Yitzhak Rabin went through a very

difficult time before he was assassinated.

That's when I admired him most.


There was tremendous propaganda

against the Oslo Accords.

They made a coffin

and dressed his effigy

in SS uniform, Nazi uniform.

And I saw how he took it,

with extraordinary courage.

That was inspiring.

He didn't back down,

he wasn't afraid.

One day we passed

the Wingate Institute

and people spat

and shouted at him.


He acted like he didn't care.

Not that he wasn't worried...

but he felt that support

for Oslo had diminished

and if elections were held...

we probably wouldn't win.

That's why we decided

to hold that rally,

that gathering...

in what's now called Rabin Square.

Were you afraid people wouldn't come?

He was desperate.

He didn't think people would come.

When we got to the rally

he was stunned to see...

the hundreds of thousands

of people...

and the unprecedented

excitement and enthusiasm.

We stood on the balcony

of City Hall.

Beneath us was a pool...

and the youngsters jumped into

the water shouting, Rabin! Rabin!

Peace! Oslo!

He was beside himself.

Everything went smoothly...

and then that gentleman came along,

the assassin.

There are all sorts of conspiracy theories.

What do you think?

You were closest to the events.

My opinion is

that sedition was in the air...

not organized sedition,

but the atmosphere made it possible.

How did it manifest?

They dressed his effigy

in Nazi uniform.

They carried a coffin marked

Here lies Rabin.

They spat at him, shouted at him,

swore at him.

It was horrible.

Did he talk to you about it?

I saw it for myself.

They did the same to me,

but with him it was horrifying.


One problem was what to do

about it afterwards.

I could've turned it into a civil war.

Shimon, I'd like to go back

to the murder and the sedition

since they have implications

on the current situation.

That is, whenever Israeli leaders

make concessions

based on their historical perspective

in order to come to agreements,

all hell breaks loose.

We've even seen recently -

I spoke to Dalia Rabin,

and she said that on Facebook,

to this day,

over 20 years later,

people still slander Rabin.

Going back to the sedition

of 20 years ago,

how did you feel

as the people initiating a process

intended to create peace

with the Palestinians?

We refused to back down.

Even if we thought

we might have to pay a dear price.

If you send out a soldier,

he may get killed,

and the same is true of a leader.

There's no difference.

I knew it might lead to catastrophe...

but in terms of propaganda,

the Likud outdid us.

Where did the negative elements

like Yigal Amir come from?

Where in Israeli society?

He was a religious fellow...

he was even a yeshiva student,

and he absorbed all the propaganda

against dividing Israel.

It was the continuation of the debate

over the partition plan.

Now back to Rabin.

How do you see his last days?

The threat made him

even more determined.

I said that to begin with.

That was when I most admired Rabin

because of his ability

to stand up to the threats.

How did that manifest?

For instance, he gave up no ground.

He didn't cancel one meeting.

He didn't cancel one appearance.

He paid no attention when people

shouted at him and derided him.

He acted as if it didn't concern him...

and he carried on.

He gave up no ground.

No ground. That's the test.

If Yitzhak Rabin hadn't been assassinated,

would we have achieved -

maybe not peace,

but a more stable situation?


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Amos Gitai

Amos Gitai (Hebrew: עמוס גיתאי‎; born October 1950) is an Israeli filmmaker, mainly known for making documentaries and feature films, surrounding the Middle East and Israeli–Arab conflict. Gitai's work was presented in several major retrospectives in Pompidou Center Paris, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York, Lincoln Center New York, and the British Film Institute London. To date Amos Gitai has created over 90 works of art throughout 38 years. Between 1999 and 2017 ten of his films were entered in the Cannes Film Festival for the Palme d'Or as well as the Venice Film Festival for the Golden Lion award. He has worked with Juliette Binoche, Jeanne Moreau, Natalie Portman, Yael Abecassis, Samuel Fuller, Hanna Schygulla, Annie Lennox, Barbara Hendricks, Léa Seydoux, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Henri Alekan, Renato Berta, Nurith Aviv, Éric Gautier and more. Since 2000 he has collaborated with the French filmmaker Marie-José Sanselme. He received several prestigious prizes, in particular the Leopard of Honor at the Locarno International Film Festival (2008), the Roberto Rossellini prize (2005), the Robert Bresson prize (2013), the Paradjanov prize (2014), and Légion d'Honneur (2017). Gitai was born in Haifa and divides his time today between Paris and Haifa. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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