Annoting the Film “A Human Sanctuary”

Susan Hazan, Israel

The Annotated Version of the Film A Human Sanctuary is currently being developed as an educational platform for the Dorot Study and Information Center to be launched in the spring of 2013.  This novel iteration of the film is part of the overall strategy that guides the production of innovative, educational content for the Study Center.

While the 20-minute dramatic presentation A Human Sanctuary is screened weekdays in the Shrine of the Book’s Dorot Auditorium, the annotated version of the film serves to add a further dimension to the narrative, and will enable passive, active and pro-active consumption of the artistic content.  The film acts as the primary content, and through the addition of secondary and tertiary content, this platform will allow the visitor to not only view the narrative but to explore the content more deeply. At the next stage users will be able to produce their own content based on the multi-layered content.  Secondary resources include objects from the museum collections, texts from the period, as well as the museum narrative as viewed through virtual tours and explanatory audio-video resources.  Tertiary content will include: bibliographical sources, photographs, and illustrations; additional but pertinent material that amplifies the film’s narrative and inspire pedagogic inquiry and motivate new kinds of focused creativity.

Target Audience

  • Visitors who are familiar with the film from their museum visit
  • School teachers and tour guides
  • Educational institutions in Israel and abroad
  • Audiences that have not yet visited the Shrine of the Book but are interested in the subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Second Temple Period.

A Human Sanctuary as primary source material
In order to establish the film’s didactic narrative and aesthetic qualities, we feel that it is critical that the film be viewed in its entirety, at least once.  This rational will be embedded in the platform’s scenario and will serve to establish the explicit narrative, anchoring and driving the ensuing activities.  We believe that the experiential nature of the film, derived from the cinematic dynamic elements it contains, offers excellent opportunities for reflection, learning and creativity.

Once the individual, class or social group has viewed the movie in its entirety, they can then relate to resources that are broken down into specific thematic narratives.

The Four Thematic Segments

Each segment will follow a similar scenario where each user selects one or more segment for their entertainment and pleasure.

  1. An introductory explanation of the film
  2. An historical introduction
  3. The everyday life of the sect
  4. The ideology of the sect
  5. Jerusalem during the Second Temple period

Connections made from the film to the museum objects, the Shrine of the Book narrative, virtual tours and other curatorial narratives encourages users to engage in self-directed learning as they make their own connections and associations from the additional content in each segment.

Tirza Deutscher, Project Coordinator, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Dr. Susan Hazan, Curator of New Media, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Dr. Sorin Herman, The Cyprus Institute (CyI-STARC), Nicosia
Dr. Adolfo Roitman, Project Leader,The Israel Museum, Jerusalem