Ari Davidovich (photo: Anna Somershaf)

Ari Davidovich is an accomplished director, producer and writer. His films have been screened in the cinema, broadcast on prestigious television channels and have been featured in film festivals in Israel and abroad. Born and raised in Haifa, Davidovich is a graduate of Haifa University with a degree in Psychology and the Humanities, and earned a Masters degree from the Hebrew University in Media and Journalism. His expertise in filmmaking was gained by working with prominent filmmakers.

SHAI K. is the third in a series of documentary biographies Davidovich has created in recent years. It was preceded by BIRD IN THR ROOM (2015), which brought to the screen the mysterious life and death of poet Tirza Atar (winner of the judges' award at the Haifa Film Festival) and WAITING FOR GODIK (2007), the story of the rise and fall of producer Giora Godik, the first “king of musicals” in Israel. In addition, Davidovich directed the film MY CHAMPION on the journey of Israeli boxing champion Merhav Mohar, and produced the films ALL HAPPY MORNINGS (2012), BEAR WITH ME (2013), and HOLDONG IT IN, a new film about a unique surrogate family.

The Director & Producer

Making a film about Shaike Ophir, one of Israel’s greatest acting, entertainment, and pantomime talents is a heavy responsibility. For a period of three years, in the making of the film, I felt an obligation to reveal the real story of a man who became a cultural icon. Shaike's enormous talent was recognized both at home and abroad, yet Shaike the man remained an enigma. He was the man of a thousand faces whose real face was almost never seen. My goal was to become intimately acquainted with Shaike the human being – to find out what drove him, what determined the course of his personal life, and to come to know the people important to him, particularly the women who were significant figures in his life.


It started with Ophir's extraordinary widow, Lydia, whom I met several years ago. When conditions were suitable, Lydia agreed to open up her home to me, to allow me access to her coveted memories. She was and would remain Mrs. Shaike Ophir until her dying day. She saved Shaike from fading from the annals of Israel's cultural history over the past thirty years since his death at age fifty-nine. Lydia Ophir passed away about a year ago, and did not get to view the film. I am certain she would have been thrilled by the love with which it has been received. We dedicate this film to her memory.


Shaike Ophir was one of the foremost figures in Israeli culture that I grew up with in in the 1970s and 1980s. At the time, there was one black and white TV channel in Israel with 100 percent audience ratings. Shaike was a dominant force on television, as well as on the big screen. His film, "Policeman Azoulay" won the Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar, and there were others. Shaike had it all, yet something went awry. What happened, and which Shaike will you take away with you when you see the film? I leave that to you, dear viewers.


-Ari Davidovich

Director's Statement