Bullets Gone Mad

In the nightly eviction in January 2017 performed by the Israeli police forces the Bedouin dweller Yakub Abu al-Quian and the police officer Erez Levi died. The circumstances how these deaths came about were never truthfully revealed to the public. Almost right after the deaths Israeli propaganda jumped in and al-Quian was claimed a terrorist. The state Israel had to retract the accusations and promised an investigation that a year later was closed without giving any further revelations to the public.

»Bullets gone mad« (2018) tells the story of the Bedouin village Umm Al Khiran in the Negev where Hagenbach taped the voices of human rights’ activists Rabbi Arik Ashermann and Karen Isaacs retelling the shooting they had witnessed there. We only hear their voices while we look at the strong and static pictures of the demolished Bedouin houses.

This film sits in the frame of occupation and dispossession — the state of Israel was not errected in an empty land — and reveals how the very mechanisms of power may look like. We see the action of the eviction taking place through the lens of a drone and the sound footage is from someone’s cellphone. The sound footage and the aerial drone footage are taken from the media that started to show them when it became clear the official statements were fowl.

“There was an amazing amount of friendly fire”. We can only partly imagine how the nightly invasion of state power was experienced. The powerful still images of destructed houses let us ask why and what state power has intended by doing so. Obviously the state wanted it’s power to be felt hard on the people and the viusal results of it’s might were intended to be seen afterwards. Only the action of the eviction had to take place in the cover of the night. But if power of authority has to rely on such signs, how accepted is it then by it’s citizens, if we assume they are considered as such.