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Israel's Oscars pick explores mind of Rabin's assassin

Nearly a quarter century after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was felled by an assassin’s bullet, a new film exploring his killer’s motives is generating controversy, and garnering acclaim, in Israel.

Israel's nominee for best international feature film at the Oscars this year is “Incitement,” a psychological thriller that plunges viewers into the mind of the man who murdered Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995, during the height of the Oslo peace process with the Palestinians. It follows Yigal Amir in the years leading up to the murder and presents the social and religious motivations that drove him to commit his crime. While Amir is the protagonist and appears in virtually every shot, the film manages to generate no empathy for his character or his motivations. 

Amir, a religious nationalist Zionist law student, was sentenced in 1996 to life in prison for the assassination. He has served most of it in solitary confinement and has never expressed contrition for his actions. His brother, Hagai Amir, was also imprisoned in connection to the plot.

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