Supernova (2024)

May 15th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dirs: Yossi Bloch, Duki Dror | With: Shoval Roberman, Tomer Weiner, Racheli Nahmias, Michal Ohana, Noam Cohen, Gali Amar, Amit Amar, Ilan Regev, Hananya Benjamin | Israel doc 2024, 52′

A new documentary from Israeli filmmakers Yossi Block and Duke Dror brings to life that fateful Autumn day when Hamas reportedly attacked more than 20 Israeli towns and kibbutzim killing 1200 people in one day.

On the morning of Saturday, October 7th, 2023, thousands of young Israelis were dancing in the desert at a major international trance-music festival. Euphoria then devastation. Suddenly dozens of terrorists on motorcycles drove into the crowd while militants on hang gliders cut the sky. The terrorists surrounded them, blocking the roads, ambushing escaping cars, grabbing hostages, and leading them violently and triumphantly into Gaza.

This film provides a retrospective of 24 hours at the Nova festival in Re’im through the lens of young individuals who endured the horror. The initial filming began 48 hours after the catastrophic incident, during which the filmmakers documented eight partygoers. The narrative unfolds chronologically, weaving together their first-hand accounts to construct a record of the events.

Interviewed to camera, the kids describe their initial excitement of breaking free from their daily lives to enjoy the outdoor music festival. A cautious comment comes from one of the girls who questions why the location, at the Re’im Junction, is so near to the border with Gaza.

But the festival is now in full swing and fireworks seem to fall from the sky. Or wait a moment. They’re missiles, dozens of them. Calm turns to mild panic when the guards tell the festival-goers to leave the area due to a missile attack.

Director Duki Dror deftly combines the survivors’ own phone footage and face to face interviews with Hamas recorded footage to show how the ground-based units fire missiles that rain down on Israeli territory. A shout goes out ‘God is Great’ and Hamas soldiers make their way into the crowd.

By now day has dawned. But 4000 people trying to leave the festival site at once is no joke.  And those who finally get on the road are ambushed by Hamas soldiers who open fire on them indiscriminately (according to Hamas filmed footage). In scenes like something out of the D-Day landings Israeli teenagers are seen running like hell across the open fields while they are fired upon by Hamas soldiers. Some run towards a prefab hut where they take cover and tend to the wounded. Others hide wherever they can. But someone tells them to run if they want to save their lives.

Some of the teenagers found their way to a shelter but Hamas soldiers pelted the metal shack with grenades killing and maiming many of those inside. One young man tells how he slid under a dead body to avoid death. Another grabbed a severed leg and put it over him describing an overwhelming smell of blood, faeces and gunpowder.

At one point a shout goes out from a Hamas soldier: “she’s a war slave, throw her in the back” (of a truck). He grabs a young man by his hair. All around are bodies and burnt out cars.

One dad, Ilan Regev, follows his kids’ phone footage and decides to grab his gun and head south in his truck. He watches as his kids Maya 21, and 18 year old Itay, are captured. Luckily they were eventually released after over seven weeks in captivity. Others who escaped the mayhem speak of their feelings of guilt and are haunted by images of blood and limb-less bodies. They are the lucky ones. This devastating massacre shocked the world with its extremely graphically violent images. @MeredithTaylor



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