How did it all begin…

To make a movie — out of the blue — with no money, no equipment — it was a complete madness!

But the movie lived inside of me, alive were the images and replicas from the film: they were bigger than reality…

And, thus, in my absence, something had happened that had an effect on my fate and the fates of my friends.

One evening, my friends had got together on the roof, as usual, and invited their friends to join them for the party as well. One of the guys (Mike) had an idea for a game: «Tonight the sky is open! Let’s make wishes!» And the rest — all true to the original movie script — there is nothing to invent here!..

When a month later, having passed the entrance exams to the Institute of Cinematography I returned to Israel — this horrific event had already taken place.

My friends were waiting for me at the airport. Right there they told me about one girl who was invited to that small party on the roof while I was in Moscow — has died in the terrorist attack at «Dolfi». It was then that I heard that while playing that game together with everyone else, she made a wish: to remain forever young and beautiful!

I also found out that all of my friends were planning to go to the «Dolfi» Club that evening. Yet, something has stopped each and everyone of them from going there! That girl was the only person, out of the whole group, who made it to the dance club «on time!» And died at the entrance to «Dolfi.» 21 people dead, over 100 injured! I was in shock, stunned…

I did not know this girl. Yet «something» came into me … and settled permanently. It was as if someone decided to tell this story through me, to become its expert, investigator, and… not to allow to forget…

I began to de research and ask questions — who and how did arrive there on time, or was late that night. My friends and myself have interviewed almost everyone associated with the tragedy.

What had struck me the most, was that a lot of people had made plans to go to «Dolfi» that night.

Yet everyone had their own reason and a story to tell — «why they did not make it there.»

I got to hear the stories about others as well: of those who «did make» it to the «Dolfi»… Of those who died or suffered injuries at the entrance to the club.

As I continued with my research, I was discovering more and more shocking and horrifying coincidences! My story — about the girl who had died in the attack — was one out of a hundred!

But I found so many more other stories!

For instance, two sisters were on their way Dolfi. One of them put on a new blouse that belonged to the other sister. That one got mad and in a fit of temper wished her to die. The sister perished at «Dolfi’s» that night.

And what about dreams? How many coincidences were there in dreams!.. A mother who lost her daughter in the terrorist attack, had a dream the night before: that her house was full of rabbis in prayer. The rabbis announced that they came after her daughter… The mother could not talk her daughter out of going to the club. The girl died that night at Dolfi’s.

I began to think more and more about fate: about its labyrinths, riddles… What got in the way for some — to get to this dance club? What stopped them? And for others — why is it that nothing could stop them?! Neither mother, nor foreboding…

Why did somebody’s heel brake, someone became sick, or someone got called in to work?

How come that the suicide bomber — same age as those whom he was about to murder, stopped at no other place but there, at the entrance to the Russian dance club — not far from the mosque where he was just praying.

How does one get to interpret what had happened? Can we say it was just plain luck for those who did get to the «Dolfi», or was it indeed the «Divine» intervention?

I already could invision the main characters. I saw their dreams, as if I was transported to those filming locations. Inside of me sounded the music of the film, the beating of the film’s rhythm, I had dreamed in Signs…

I began looking for those who would make a movie or come up with funds in Israel … Then — in Moscow. A lot of people became interested in this idea — there were many studios that wanted to adapt this movie script in Moscow. Yet, as it usually happens — their producers couldn’t find the money…

Time was running out fast…

I was endlessly asked to rewrite my script. Each wanted it changed after their own fashion.

«When you rewrite it — we will film…» Even other writers were invited to assist in the hope that the new, revised version of the script will inspire someone to invest in making the movie. It took several years. As a result — just one thing remained from the initial idea: the hangout, the roof, and the wish. And when in another writer’s version a thug with a sawed-off shotgun appeared instead of the suicide bomber with explosives — I could no longer stand it!

I have decided to make a movie on my own. And to film it where the horrible event took place.

Immediately I began to search for those who care about this topic, in order to create a team.

The search was long. Such person was found — a talented novice operator Jack Entis. Looking back, I can say with certainty that if it wasn’t for him — I couldn’t have been able raise this project on my own!

We decided to complete the project in time for the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. There was still a load of people at the monument near the former nightclub «Dolfi.» We realized that we made the right decision.

Having created the right conditions, we advertised an invitation for all interested in filming of a movie about the terrorist attack in «Dolfi.» The ad read that the movie will be filmed without any pay — on a volunteer basis.

And what a surprise — people responded! It seemed as if the whole of Israel wanted to help us!

That was because everyone who came to us, was either directly or indirectly linked to this tragedy. Somebody was late that night to «Dolfi,» and somebody else lost their friends…

Musicians brought us music, film schools’ students shared equipment. It seemed — there it was: the filming will pass quickly and easily. We started out successfully.

The casting was extensive: we were looking for the young teenage actors.

Yet, already after a few weeks, first problems that experienced filmmakers warned us about began: it is impossible to make a movie without money! Their warnings came true: young actors missed shootings, and as for those who were older — they depended on work and family. We had to endlessly adjust to everybody’s schedule.

Shootings did not fit into any time-table. Initial cast had been replaced. As for the crew, they ran out of steam, having decided that we will not succeed in this endeavor with our equipment. So why strain oneself for nothing ? There was no time for a lot of thinking.

I turned to… Cosmos. And The Cosmos responded.

Once pilgrims came for a couple of days — for a Christian holiday in Jerusalem.

During the tea time, one of the guests suddenly looked at me strangely and said: «You will succeed! Don’t doubt yourself… I see people, many people, cameras, festivals — next to you… I see some movie… At the end… in the subtitles — there are many last names in black frames..

Are you filming something? Or…

I was all ears. What she was saying to me as if in a trance — there was no logical explanation — she couldn’t have seen any equipment, or have heard our conversations about the movie as well!

This is what the psychic related to me:

This movie of yours — it’s like a scream: through it souls that left us early are screaming. They are trying to say that the world is in danger… they want to be heard. Right now…they are here.

Near by: with you and within you… You are not the one making this movie. More likely — the movie is making you… They are giving you hints. As long as you do not abandon this endeavor.

Gradually, everyone who’s needed will come on their own and will do everything that’s needed for the movie. These people are few, but they are marked.

They will come.

For example, soon a guy will appear — hair down to his shoulders, «a mop-head» — he will help out a lot! It will be something. And the movie will be done. A little girl will appear, who’ll become the symbol of your movie. Read the signs! The Cosmos will tell and give you everything on its own. This movie is a window! Remember this! What the movie is about should be known by many and not only in Israel — everywhere!

It’s strange, yet most of what this «random» psychic, a pilgrim from Kazakhstan, had predicted — came true!

The first cast was replaced, a big filming crew ran off. We realized that it wasn’t without interference: someone spread rumors that if they will continue participating in shootings about the tragedy — it will have an effect on their fate. They will attract this nightmare upon themselves, and they themselves may suffer in a similar terrorist attack!

Having remained a few, we continued to film.

Hints and Blessings

Guests from different countries began appearing more and more in our home: people came for the sea. Perhaps that was the help from the Cosmos. I recieved a hint for our movie from each guest, from each person.

One time an Orthodox priest from Saint-Petersburg, Russia, was passing through. He sanctified the apartment, blessed us, and suggested that it would be good to open up a subject of not only a mother loosing her child, but a father as well. He left, having had changed into plain clothes.
And it turned out that he forgot his robe with a golden cross.

Our good friend from Moscow — a talented actor Max, having stayed with us, saw the robe: «Wow! Check this out! I want to try it on! Film me in this role! I have no idea what for, just film me!»

That is how the prayer of the Orthodox priest appeared in our movie. We scheduled the shooting on the next day — at the cemetery. Max dressed as the Orthodox priest and two other actresses of the movie were supposed to arrive there. I was looking forward to this complex scene: an extravagant Gothic dress, made especially by our costume designer, was awaiting for our actress as a surprise.

Yet it was precisely this actress that did not arrive!

We were standing at the entrance to the cemetery, hiding our equipment, in fear that we won’t be let inside with a big camera… A guy approached us:

— Are you a filming crew?

«That’s it,» I was thinking, «we are caught!» But he says:

— I’m Yuri Karpelov, your actress invited me here. Maybe you need help?

— Help?! Yes! Of course! Could you put on this dress? Our shooting is going down the drain…

And passed the package with the Gothic dress… — Dress? No problem!

And would you believe this? We shot Yuri’s hand and shoulder in the black dress and the face of the other actress, the one that did come. Partially, the shot scene was saved.

That was how Yuri Karpelov appeared — that «mop-headed» guy that the fortune teller predicted.

«This guy will become everything for your movie!»

And he really did become everything: composer, actor, operator, second film director… sound manager, editor… driver… And if one of the actors didn’t come, he was the substitute: he was Dima’s hand, Pasha’s voice, Anna’s elbow, and so on…


Later on, a real shaman appeared in our home! The shaman conducted his ritual at our place, and in his own way, shaman-style, purified our home: «quieted the spirits». He let us film him. The image of shaman was useful for the nightmare scene within the movie!

There was no end to surprises!

Kabbalists had arrived. I received a blessing from Central Asia — from a Muslim woman: and same as before (!) she conducted a purification ritual with me.

There was an African ritual…

There was, as well, a blessing from christian Catholics… A blessing from the Orthodox priest was already received.. Soon, a French Orthodox Jew appeared. Every day he would light the candles, pray, and read Talmud…

Dreams and signs became my specialty. I’ve long collected dreams, and in particular also the dreams that people saw before this terrorist attack.

I used the signs in the movie. They play a big role with us. They foreshadow! The fact that almost nobody notices them is a different story… Except for the Hindu-Mike, who called on everyone to make wishes, and drew a hieroglyph on the floor, capable, according to his opinion, of changing fate… And he warned: «There’s no room for mistakes! It may come true!»

Then the Buddhists came. They helped to decipher the hieroglyph that I used in the movie, having snatched it from «my dreams». It was the beginning of a prayer «OM MANE PADME HUM!»

The idea is taken from a real story, where the Goth character receives a flashlight with hieroglyph as a present from her friend. The friend dies…but continues to communicate with her through this flashlight. The flashlight with pendants rings, when the Goth decides to cut her veins…

It so happened that I found myself encircled by mysticism… And it was leading me to a certain philosophy, that was already becoming larger than the initial idea for the movie!

«Purified and enlightened», I understood for good that all religions will be present in our movie! This is because we live in a country where all religions are present. And also because it is different faiths and their war with each other that often lead to tragedy! And we wanted to show a parallel where one mother blesses her daughter before she is leaving for the dance club, while another mother blesses her son to commit a terrorist attack, by blowing himself up together with his peers!..

The theme of religion plays a key role in our movie. We wanted to show that in the region of THE FORCE, a country of «prayer,» where in close vicinity of each other coexist temples of many religious concessions, where even the space speaks in different prayers — these horrible tragedies happen one after another!

One of our filming sessions took place in a mosque. We have shown that the Muslim religion is not to blame! A suicide bomber is praying in a mosque next to peaceful guys!

As for me, I’m certain: GOD IS ONE! And in the future all religions will be united: they have a common core within them!

Music sent out of nowhere

Without the music I couldn’t see my movie.

The music found us on its own: music of all trends was brought: ethnic middle-eastern, trance and heavy rock… Teenagers wrote hip-hop, and in breaking voices sang about how they don’t want to die… Street musicians and well-known groups gave us their music as a gift, so that it would sound in the movie in the memory of those that died at «Dolfi.» And it was the music in particular that was the soul of our movie. And it was without borders.

The music allowed us to realize that a lot of people are rooting with us for the fate of the movie!

And as it turned out… not only those, who are alive!..

An artist and an actress — Shanti, also brought us her music. She heard a phrase in her dream: «We will not stop dancing!» (This phrase is on the monument next to «Dolfi»). She saw the dance…and — heard the music. This music sounded inside her for a long time and wouldn’t leave
her alone, until she found on the internet the one who created it. It turned out to be a dead guy — a famous DJ from Moscow — Zolod. That’s how this trance came to us, that is to say, as if was sent from «the other world.»

Now, for sure, — we couldn’t turn back!

But REALITY was closing in on us: the hardest period was nearing — the editing!

A trial through «editing»

We still couldn’t find sponsors. Even though our producer, Albert, has appealed to many in Israel and even to Russian community: after all, the dead came from Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). No one said — NO! Yet, in truth, no one said — YES!

We were looking for a movie editor. We knew that we’ll have to pay. But how much? Editors, having learned about salary, were disappearing one after another.

Miracles got tired of working for us.

So, in the beginning, Jack, having started to learn editing from zero, edited part of the movie. We were saving the film: our technique was not on the level. Actors often missed shootings: there weren’t enough large shots. In a non-budget project we could not demand from the actors — no haircuts, no makeover, and no leaving the country… In addition, as it was already stated, to get two-three actors together — that was a feat in itself.

All in all, due to all of this — our editing resembled sorcery more than a technical process! We had fights and melt-downs, yet stubbornly — from morning to night, having taken vacations at our own expense, — edited, edited, edited…

Every cloud has a silver lining — it «dawned upon me», that certain misgivings of the shootings could be salvaged — through a background voice. Nights through I was working on completion of the screenplay.

The main character was now speaking with the audience, having already been killed; she was telling us her story. Till its end. And only in the finale it is understood by everyone. Now the movie sounded like a confession. Through the movie, a monologue of eternity was carried…

The movie completely changed my nature.

I turned into a some sort of a tank, which pressed on and on, without knowing whether it’ll get there…and whether there’ll be another miracle behind the horizon.

But the miracles came back.

Yuri joined in on the editing: he had just completed a filming course at the university… And he had free evenings. Now we were certain that we’ll make it to the finish line!

All of a sudden a war started in Israel. Thunder of bombs, numbness and suspense…

I-phone warned about the sirens within several seconds time. Yet, there was no place for cover anyway. Our fanaticism was our cover. We went on with editing…

I meticulously sorted the material, Yuri was practicing sorcery with it…

Editing salvaged the image of the Goth. The editing helped show through a mystical dance her unwillingness to live… The editing filled in the image of a dead heroine — warmhearted and sunny — the one that never completed her portrait of mom, never met her father, and never finished her poetry.

Our actress, Lidia, finished the poems for her…

Yuri has managed to accentuate the signs and recreate the rhythm of nightmares … The editing has emphasized the work of the operator: Jack has caught with the lens the magic of life, with which the suicide bomber was parting a couple of hours before the explosion. The editing was an open sea. We drifted and drifted. As for the shore, it was becoming farther and farther away… But — hooray! It looked like a run of bad luck was over.

The war was over.

Soon the producer has announced that the first festival awaits us: «Kinole» — they liked the trailer. It was necessary to turn in at least the draft of the movie before the deadline.

Having already received an award at the festival, we suddenly woke up: it turns out we are a team!

We are capable of driving the project to the end!..

Two years passed since the time we announced casting for the movie «The Stolen Wish.» And several years prior to that were spent for research, looking for money, and for the screenplay itself…

«Your movie is late! It’s of no current interest!» — we were told. But no. While we were making the film, Israel freed thousands of terrorists from jail, who spread out through the whole world.

That do we want? We simply want this movie to be seen… And what else? Clearly, it is a non-budget movie! But the energy, it is there. The movie will leave no one indifferent — too many souls have been working on it.

My strength came back. And it attracted to us special people. It is thanks to them that we arrived to you! ))

We are «The Latecomers.» We could have made it then to club «Dolfi.» On June 1, 2001. But, thanks to pure luck, we were late. We, the latecomers, made a movie about those, whom nothing could stop, who came «on time.» We are dedicating this movie in their name: «The Stolen Wish.»

I hope that this movie will have an affect on the audience.

Despite the tragic finale, it’s calling on us to LIVE and REJOICE, to be together and get closer to The Light. It’s about love, will. It’s about the fact that LIFE GOES ON…

1 p. | 2 p. | 3 p. | 4 p. | 5 p. | 6 p. | 7 p. | 8 p. | 9 p. | 10 p.

Новый трейлер (2012) к фильму Ники Армани «Украденное желание»

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Дольфи 10 лет.
Вечер памяти Ури Шахар (Uri Shahar)

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