Horses of Friesian
2024, 16 min, HD
Director, Camera, Edit by Alina Orlov
This documentary explores the involuntary role of animals in human conflict Filmed during January to September 2023 in Israel and the West Bank, the film provides a glimpse into daily life in the months preceding the “2023 Israel-Hamas War.”
In the 10 months before the war, hundreds of thousands of people protested against laws aiming to change the regime in the State of Israel and to end the occupation of Gaza and West Bank. As a filmmaker, feeling the need to depart was growing imminent and drove me to capture as much as possible. Horses became my subject unexpectedly: specifically those used as violent police cavalry to disrupt the protests. Later, I was able to observe these horses at a police stable and training facility in Israel, where over 12 months they are trained to become integral tools for law enforcement. The film questions the implications of training and using horses in such scenarios, considering their lack of consent as silent, unwilling participants in human conflicts.
Contrasting to this, the film’s most protracted shot is of a solitary horse in the West Bank, running between the walls of its enclosure. The film’s narrative mimics the cycles of conflict in human history.