Gila Almagor earned acclaim as a writer, actress, and filmmaker for her autobiographical Summer of Aviya in 1988, but when critics questioned details of her story, she embraced the criticism and went on to create a sequel, 1995’s Under the Domim Tree. Almagor’s father, a policeman, was killed before she was born, and after her mother was institutionalized in 1954, she joined the Hadassim youth village. She moved to Tel Aviv at age fifteen to study acting and join the Habimah Theater troupe. From 1958–1963 she performed with the Cameri Theater, then shifted from plays to film and television. She went on to write and direct Summer of Aviya, playing her own mother, whose post-Holocaust trauma and depression were scorned by Israeli society. The film was welcomed by many survivors and their families, but critics discovered that Almagor’s mother had fled to Palestine before the Holocaust, and Almagor created a sequel to clarify the issues of survivor’s guilt. Almagor, a founder of the Israeli Union of Performing Artists, the Tel Aviv International Film Festival, and the Gila Almagor Wishes Foundation, has been honored with ten Kinor David Awards, the Israel Prize, and a Life Achievement Award from the Israeli Academy of Cinema.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Gila Almagor." (Viewed on March 4, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/almagor-gila>.