November 27, 2012, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Cinematheque108 and Transfax Film Productions invite you and a guest to a special screening of

Dissolution (Hitparkut)

A Film by Nina Menkes with David Fire
Followed by a Q&A with Nina Menkes, moderated by SCA Professor David James

7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
The Ray Stark Family Theatre
George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

"Nina Menkes is a Cinematic Sorceress of the Self"
--Dennis Lim, NY TIMES

"David Fire's performance is brilliant...Menkes's unclassifiable cinema, whose fascination lies in the interplay among characters, space, and filmmaker, is truly all her own."
--Chris Fujiwara, BOSTON PHOENIX

"One of  the most provocative artists in film today"
-Kevin Thomas, LA TIMES


About Dissolution (Hitparkut)

"But I am lying! Lying because I myself know, like two times two, that it is not at all the underground that is better but something different, completely different—which I thirst for but cannot ever find!"
--  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dissolution (HITPARKUT) combines an almost surreal fairy-tale energy with brutal black and white realism to explore the condition of violence which permeates contemporary Israeli society. Shot in Yafo (the predominantly  Arab area of Tel Aviv), the movie follows the moral collapse and  first glimmer of redemption, of a young, morose Israeli Jew, played by David (Didi) Fire.

Provided courtesy of Transfax Film Productions. Not rated. B&W. Running time: 88 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.

To view the Official Facebook page, click here.


Director's Statement

Loosely inspired by Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, the film is concerned with sin, understood as a profound inner alienation and violence, towards self and others…and the possibility of redemption or healing from sin by connecting to the power of faith or love within ourselves. This is a love without any object of desire—and so an illuminating and interior spiritual quality.  

This work is deeply personal—about one man’s inner journey, but can also be read as an allegory about Israel’s moral responsibility. The alienated Jewish hero murders an old Jewish woman……possibly also her sister. As Jews, we are killing not only The Other—but also ourselves. Yet the redemption lies in the figure of the beautiful Arab girl (Nadia Tarawzi), in an almost pagan image that closes the film with a moment of desperate hope.

The film can also be understood as a portrayal of male violence towards a devalued Feminine.

-- Nina Menkes

About the Guest


Director Nina Menkes was born in the USA to Israeli parents, speaks fluent Hebrew and fair Arabic, and is a citizen of both countries. In 2009, Menkes was also “renaturalised” as a German national as restitution for losses to her family during WW II.

Visit her Official Website: www.ninamenkes.com

About the Moderator

DAVID E. JAMES, Chair/Professor of Critical Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts

Taking any of David James' courses including History of the International Cinema and Cultural Theory, students have the distinction of learning from a professor who has achieved particular renown as an authority in Asian cinema and avant-garde cinema.

Dr. James has expanded and enriched the cultural scene in Los Angeles, curated countless film programs, worked on museum exhibitions, produced his own film work and published extensively in the arts and popular press, including his latest book The Most Typical Avant-Garde: History and Geography of Minor Cinemas in Los Angeles.

James’ awards include an NEH Fellowship for College Teachers, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in the Humanities at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research.

He is the editor of To Free the Cinema: Jonas Mekas and the New York Underground as well as The Hidden Foundation: Cinema and the Question of Class, and has served on the editorial boards of Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Now Time, and Art Week.

Recent Press Links

Sunday NY Times feature Story:

New York Times Movie Review DISSOLUTION; Critic's Pick:

Village Voice feature Story:

LA Times feature Story:

LA Weekly feature story:

The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell:

About Cinematheque108

Cinematheque108 is an alternative screening series sponsored by the Critical Studies Department at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. The series offers a rare selection of events that highlight noteworthy experimental, documentary, and/or foreign films, many of which can not be seen anywhere else. Cinematheque108 is an educational forum that aims to expand understanding of alternative film and media. All screenings are free of charge and open to the pubic.

About Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Email: aago@cinema.usc.edu