In November 2016, a number of Jewish and Israeli news outlets covered the story of Yoram Raanan, an American-born artist living in Moshav Bet Meir just outside Jerusalem, who lost forty years of work in a sudden fire.
Across the Atlantic, a young filmmaker, Bentzi Avtzon, followed Yoram as he posted his story on social media. Bentzi watched with amazement, but also curiosity, as Yoram rebuilt his studio and began painting again, and a story that had begun as catastrophic loss turned into one of renewed imagination and art.
Not everything was bright in Yoram’s new work. While his pre-fire paintings had been richly colorful, his new work was much darker, painted on black blackgrounds. And yet against this black he painted streaks of gold paint, a color he’d rarely used in his previous work, as if in his terrible loss he’d somehow discovered a new light.
Moved by Yoram’s story, Bentzi inquired about documenting in film this journey of renewal. The result is Yuvla Film’s new documentary, “The Light of Fire.”
The documentary, filmed by a local Israeli crew, meets Yoram several months after the fire, as he begins to breathe new life into his new studio and fire-scarred property. Focusing on a number of particularly striking and symbolic post-fire works, the film weaves together the visual imagery of his art with frank conversation by Yoram, his wife Meira and their children about loss and the different meanings it has for each of them. Being the first chance they had to discuss their loss, the film is not only a document of their cathartic process but very much a part of it.
Award-winning composer, Andre Barros, joined the project to write an original score. The music Andre wrote is both solemn and hopeful, in line with the unusual mixtures in Yoram’s post-fire paintings, of darkness and light, of a man who at once both lost, and gained, everything.
Scheduled for public release on November 19, 2018, “The Light of Fire,” will be available for public screenings, community events, and online rental and downloads. For any further questions about the film or for inquiries about scheduling a screening, please contact: email@example.com
Runtime is 34 minutes.