Cafe Babel (2013)

A short animated film from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem by Dafna Ben AMI, Yael OZSINAY and Michal RABINOVITCH.

Such a poetic piece which is both culturally rich and of national importance. I’m really really inspired by this piece.

This is the description on vimeo:
“In a world so full of words can we still communicate?”

My reading of the film:
The tower of Babel is itself a huge icon of the film, showing our pursuit of high goals which makes us eventually unable to communicate with one another. The main character sees himself in such a world as a fish, hearing only the muffled sounds like we do underwater. He also does not react to the signage of the cafe, not knowing if he should respect that it is open or not.

All conversations get sucked into the vents, ending up in nowhere. At one point, the main character waves to the baby – a universal language, but immediately frowned upon by the parents. The second conversation between the two men talks about pleasure – a first-world pursuit. Another man talks business in the phone. A couple types furiously on the laptop. Eventually everything becomes senseless bubbles in the eye of the main character.

In the middle sequence the baby follows the bait of his parents, the couple holding on to the same float, the two men in underwater suit observing ‘talking bottles’, and the businessman building sandcastles.

I can’t help but feel this might be the directors’ view of contemporary Israel. It is undergoing transformation and extremely business-driven. The society might be leaving behind a lot its citizens…


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