"Kamal Aljafari is the chronicler of the inchronicable, visionary of the faded out. Somewhere between the early Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali (Un Chien Andalou) and the late Mani Kaul's entire magnificent oeuvre, in his new film, Recollection, Kamal Aljafari has tapped on a disquieting vision of the ruins and debris in material and memorial, pushing as he does his previous work forward by leaps and bounds. The significance of this work is manifold, achieving two contradictory tasks in particular: dismounting the omniscient camera and staging the relic. By allowing the memory to stage and announce itself, an enduring philosophical task made essential as early as in Walter Benjamin's prophetic turn to relics and ruins in his theory of allegory, Aljafari wonders: who is watching, who is watching the watcher, and by what authority? The damning question-Quis custodiet ipsos custodies-is here staged with astonishing confidence and ease, with the threadbare power of a visionary artist taking the instrumentality of his own art to task. The result is uncanny - you feel you have been there - but where, when, how, and now what?"
"For many years, I have been collecting Israeli fiction films shot in Jaffa as early as 1960. These are films in which Palestinians are disappeared, yet also exist at the edge of frames, visible in traces. Preserved also is a city; alive again in moving images, its gradual destruction over the decades chronicled film by film. From the footage of dozens of films I have excavated a whole community and recreated the city. Though out-of-focus, half-glimpsed, I have recognized childhood friends, old people I used to say good evening to as a boy; my uncle. I erased the actors, I photographed the backgrounds and the edges; and made the passersby the main characters of this film. In my film, I find my way from the sea, like in a dream. I walk everywhere, sometimes hesitant and sometimes lost. I wander through the city; I wander through the memories. I film everything I encounter because I know it no longer exists. I return to a lost time."