S.Y. Agnon | Shagrir Collection

Production Notes

In 1966, the notoriously anti-camera author was convinced to be filmed in his home. This is actually the first and last time that a film about the renowned author was made – and this was before he won the Nobel Prize. Micha says: in 1966, Agnon was convinced to be filmed at home.
We were allotted an hour. It was Yachin Hirsch and myself. We left after six hours, and then returned to film an additional 2 days at our own expense. Until that point, neither the ministry of education or the foreign ministry found it wise to take the time to document this great author. This film was released five years after he won the Nobel Prize. At that point, I got a call from the foreign ministry.  I chose not to take it.There are three versions of the short film about Agnon. The one in Hebrew focuses mainly on his life and work as a Jewish-Israeli author and contains footage of him reading from his writing.
This film is part of the Israel Film Service. Another version is the one with English narration and focuses more on his work in the international context, and the literary analysis of his work. Four minutes of footage from the Nobel awards ceremony is included here, along with newsreel materials. A third version is a shortened version of the English one and primarily takes a look at Agnon’s daily life in his home, his city and his work habits.


An expose that documents and discovers the private world of author S.Y. Agnon (1887-1970) whose works still resonate until this day. The revival includes many visual productions that continue to establish and preserve his importance in Israeli culture. His daily routine over one week is documented here, along with endless conversations with the film’s directors. The film facilitates an understanding of Agnon’s charm and unique character, even to audiences who do not know the man and his works. (Jerusalem Cinematheque Program)

Production Details

Directors: Micha Shagrir, Jachin Hirsh (as Yachin Hirsh)
Producers: Micha Shagrir, Jachin Hirsh (as Yachin Hirsh)
Production Company: Kastel Films Ltd.
Cinematography: Jachin Hirsh (as Yachin Hirsh)

Production country: Israel
Filming Location: Israel
Image: B&W

Length: 16 minutes
Languages: English Narration
Available Formats: DVD



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