No. 17

( Israel / 2004 )
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In 2002, a bus traveling from Tel-Aviv to Tiberius blew up in a suicide bombing. 17 people were killed, of which 16 were identified. No. 17 was not. He was buried a few weeks later in an anonymous grave. The police stopped trying to identify him, believing he must have been a lone foreign worker. This is where the filmmaker steps in, documenting, over a period of six months, his real time search for the identity of a man whom no one claimed as missing.
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Formats: Digital Copy, DVD
Running Time: 76 min.
Theme: Conflicts, Current Affairs, Investigative Journalism, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Law and Justice, Middle Eastern Studies, Society
Language(s): Hebrew
Subtitles: English, French
Director(s): David Ofek
Producer(s): Elinor Kowarsky, Edna Kowarsky
Cinematographer: Ron Rotem
Editor(s): Arik Lahav-Leibovitz


Academic Notes

  • Ethics and Responsibility: The Feminization of the New Israeli Documentary, by Yael Munk
    "Though the mystery is finally solved, No. 17 leaves the impression of a country that, despite performing endless controls, has lost control of its inhabitants. No. 17 is in fact a typical Israeli document, because it brings to the surface not only the Israeli’s suspicion and fear of strangers but also the huge cultural and ethnic diversity of this country"
  • The Living Body and the Corpse—: Israeli Documentary Cinema and the Intifadah, by Raya Morag
    "The power of the film No. 17 stems from the fact that the search is a search for identity—not only the specific identity of this anonymous victim, but the Israeli identity. The subversive element is that the basis for dealing with identity is in the ability to approach the abject, to come closer to the trauma. Emphasizing the approach to the abject is also essential because of the nature of the drama. Along with the subversive process of exposure to the abject, the spectator undergoes an additional process that has a calming appearance. The anonymity of the seventeenth victim reinforces, of course, the arbitrariness of the terror attack. In other words, the seventeenth victim could be—horrifyingly enough—any one of us."

awards & accolades

  • “HaMotiv HaYehudi” Warsaw Film Festival – Poland - Special Jury Award, Audience Award
  • Anonimul Film Festival, Romania - Best director
  • Syracuse International Film Festival - Best Documentary
  • AFO Film Festival, Czech Republic - Best Documentary Award
  • - 2003 Israeli academy award for best documentary
  • Chicago International Documentary Film Festival - Chicago - International Press Award
  • Hotdocs – Toronto Canada - Special Jury Award
  • DocAviv (Tel Aviv International documentary film festiva)l - Best Feature documentary & First prize for editing

Festival participation

  • "Cronograf" International Documentary Festival - Moldova 2005
  • “HaMotiv HaYehudi” Warsaw Film Festival – Poland 2005
  • Amsterdam International Documentary Festival (IDFA) 2004
  • Anonimul Film Festival, Romania 2004
  • Silverdocs - Washington, USA 2004
  • Syracuse International Film Festival 2004
  • AFO Film Festival, Czech Republic 2004

  • Chicago International Documentary Film Festival - Chicago 2004
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival - Durham, USA 2004
  • Fribourg Film Festival - Switzerland 2004
  • Hotdocs – Toronto Canada 2004
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Greece 2004
  • Cinema du Reel - France 2004
  • DocAviv (Tel Aviv International documentary film festiva)l 2003,

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Additional Info
Produced with the assistance of Makor Foundation for Israeli Films and Keshet Channel 2, Israel.

Production Company: Eden Productions
Distribution Company: Cinephil-World Sales

  • More Prizes and Festivals

    Special Mention – Zimbabwe Film Festival 2004

    Munich Documentary Film Festival – Germany, 2004

    Newport International film Festival – Newport, USA, 2004

    Berlin Jewish Film Festival – Germany, 2004

    Amnesty film festival – USA, 2004

    Movie Eye Festival, Tver – Russia, 2004

    Zagreb Film Festival – Croatia, 2004

    New directors / New films – New York, 2004

    International 1001 Documentary Film Festival – Istanbul  , 2004

    One World – Prague, 2004

    Input – Denmark, 2003


    • Channel 2, Israel.
    • VPRO, The Netherlands.
    • BBC – Storyville, U.K.
    • Canal +, Scandinavia.
    • SBS, Australia.
    • CBC – Newsworld, Canada
    • TV Catalunya, Spain.
    • Sundance Channel, USA.
    • France 5, France
    • EBS, Korea
    • SIC, Portugal
    • Canal+ Planete, Poland
    • NRK, Norway
    • TSR, Switzerlans
    • PTS, Taiwan
    • UR, Sweden


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No. 17

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