Black Notebooks: Losing a wife | reverberation

In 2016, Cancer took Ronit the Captiz. Born in Beersheba, at the gates of the Negev, 51 years ago, she was one of the greatest actresses at the crossroads of the millennium. With her brother Shlomi, she has also written and co-directed “Praître femme” (2004), “Les Sept Jours” (2007) and “Le Procès de Viviane Amsalem” (2014).

At the beginning of “Black Notebooks,” Shlomi Alkabitz returned the keys to the apartment he had shared with his long-time sister. On this Parisian street, they lived and worked on their joint projects. On that day, nothing was left but the ghost of Ronit. All these years, with little cameras or her phone, Shlomi never stopped photographing her. From these personal photos and excerpts from their films, he will build a river documentary in two parts: a cinema shrine to the love of a brother and a sister.


In the first part titled “Vivian”, Shlomi Alkaptz explores the actress’s relationships with her family. Their parents were the inspiration for their films. They brought intimate moments and memories on screen that probably shouldn’t have left the living room. With ductility disarmed, Tahrir mixes snippets of fiction and reality. On the screen, Ronit is herself, her characters and her mother at the same time … She suffers from this, and the father refuses to watch his children’s films. This family, however, has no big secrets. Father works in the post office, mother works as a hairdresser. The Kabitz came from Morocco and these “black notebooks” retrace the history of ordinary Israel: nostalgia for a lost land, attachment to a new country, and the religion that originated you while constraining your personal aspirations.

In the second part entitled “Runette” the disease appears. The actress is now married and a mother. For her brother, for millions of spectators, she never stopped playing. Life is a colossal spectacle, and death is just another accessory. You can feel it advancing, however, nibbling at the runet, while the Parisian staircase takes longer to climb.

“Cahiers noirs” is well worth the hard work and effort: it’s one of the greatest portrayals of the actress we’ve seen. On the set, Ronit is exhausted but gives himself up like never before. His pain will bear the cry of his heroines. Behind the camera, Shlomi sees his sister growing up… and turning away from him. When Ronit loses her hair, she chooses her wig as a costume for a new character. It seems invincible. But in the end, on this street of Paris, only a few boxes covered with a “fragile” sign and cinema memories will remain.

black notebooks


By Shlomi Elkabitz.

“Black Notebooks 1: Viviane”, 1 hour 48.

“Black Notebooks 2: Ronit”, 1:40.

Leave a Comment