Twenty years after his first Wadi, Amos Gitai returns for the third time to Wadi Rushmia. The site has been almost entirely destroyed by real-estate developers. Yussef and his wife, guardians of the place and of its history, still live there... Wadi Grand Canyon is composed of three films shot in 1981, 1991 and 2001 on the Wadi Rushmia site.
"Documentary film is used to this process which consists in going back on one's steps, filming the time which has elapsed, recording the traces of what has changed and the marks of what has remained. Gitai himself did it in House and A House in Jerusalem. But Wadi, now Wadi Grand Canyon with its third episode, is different. Because time, in Israel, is a strategic commodity, almost a military secret. For the imagination - with its political consequences - everything seems to take place in a condensed time space, with an urgency knowing neither past nor future, as if the "young State" had been born yesterday, as if every instant invented its own ideological model - the only historical perspectives being the legendary epic of Zionism and the dark horizon of the Shoah. But the history of Israel is already a long one, day after day, that of the unfortunate people who live through it. This statement is hardly an evidence, in an environment wholly animated by fantasies of control, of conquest, of an initiative ceaselessly intent on overthrowing innumerable enemies, on mastering the desert, on defeating ancient curses, etc. Recording time in its duration, side by side with those who, neither mystics, warriors nor pioneers, do not decide nor control anything, is, in this context, the most radical side step. Just listening to words, tones, changes in language and accent, silences, catching postures, looks, wrinkles on faces and stones, all this amounts to an act of intense and modest courage, and generates light. Making a film, the art of time and of recording, in this region where the audio-visual media - the perfect opposite - are the most densely concentrated, becomes by essence an extraordinarily powerful critical work. Still, one must know how to go about this, in other words, to doubt a lot, to hesitate, to offer no resistance."