Written by: Yonatan Hurwitz
On January 12th, 2012, the Jerusalem Cinematheque hosted the debut screening of “Poetry Ltd.”, a documentary film by poet Dorit Weisman. The film tells the story of Jerusalem’s local “Ketovet” poetry group, and follows its attempts to produce the first “One Square Meter” poetry and music festival in Jerusalem of 2009.
The film centers on poetry’s struggle to survive, in a time and place where poetry – and those who write it – is given very little attention, both in and out of the world of culture. In the film, we witness Ketovet’s members as they try to breathe new life into this ancient art, and bring it to a wider audience.
They are seen teaching workshops, hanging street signs, and reciting their poetry in different public locations. It is an attempt to show poetry as a way of life, rather than just another dusty, untouched book residing in the small poetry section of some chain store bookshop. In one scene, Ketovet member Shai Dotan remarks that “poetry is one percent divine gift, four percent inspiration, and ninety five percent hard work.”
“Poetry Ltd.”, running just over 40 minutes, manages to encompass a very rich tapestry of images and words. It has some very memorable scenes, including one in which Weisman reads her poem “Morning after surgery” while standing atop a tall scaffolding of a preserved structure in the process of restoration, located in the heart of Jerusalem.
Ketovet’s members speak of their desire to take poetry off its pedestal, out of the poetry books and faculties of literature – outside of its well-known, age-old comfort zones – and to thrust it back into the streets, back to the masses. Weisman’s film documents this process exactly, and shows how Ketovet went about realizing their vision, both as a group and as individuals. The result is an inspiring and ambitious journey, and is one well worth taking.
“Poetry Ltd.” is scheduled to be shown at the Haifa Cinematheque on 23.2.12 at 9 PM.
Website – http://www.poetryplace.org/
Poetry Ltd. – The Trailer