‘Bystanding: The Feingold Syndrome’ is an immersive interactive VR docufiction exploring the drowning and rescue of Israeli rowing champion Jasmine Finegold. In 2009, Feingold lost consciousness and capsized while rowing in Tel Aviv’s Ha’Yarkon River. Jasmine stayed submerged for four and a half minutes. During that time, none of the dozens of spectators and passersby on the riverbank took any action to help her.
‘Bystanding’ allows participants to embody the original bystanders’ point of view, listen to their thoughts and witness their deepest confessions from that day. Each bystander confession is experienced as a totally different memory from that day, providing a glimpse to this person’s “stream of consciousness.”
‘Bystanding’ generates a strong memory for participants, and aims to raise questions about our responsibilities towards people in distress, in dialogue with “the bystander effect.”
‘Bystanding’ had its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, in the Immersive Non-fiction competition. While this project started before the global pandemic, ‘Bystanding’ is now more relevant than ever. With growing social responsibilities and persistent inequalities exacerbated by COVID, we would like to empower our participants, as well as ourselves, to step out of our comfort zone and help. We may not be able to truly step inside someone else’s shoes or know the full extent of their lived truths, but we can try to step outside our own shoes.
We believe that one of the biggest challenges our global society is facing today is an empathy deficit. We cannot challenge the Bystander Effect without first trying to understand the bystander.
A Virtual Reality Experience Created by Nim Shapira & Roi Lev
CAST: Michael Moshonov, Kais Nashif, Tsahi Halevi, Nelly Tagar, Orly Zilbershatz, Yiftach Klein
with the participation and support of KAN – the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, Gesher Multicultural Film Fund, Makor Foundation for Israeli Films, the Israel Lottery Council For Culture Arts & the Israeli film council
Co-Produced with AnotherWorld VR (Ioulia Isserlis & Max Sacker) & KNGFU with the participation of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Canada Media Fund.
Director and Concept: Nim Shapira
Creative Producer: Roi Lev
Screenwriting: Lior Zalmanson
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