Amir’s distinctive approach to directing reflects the unusual path he took to become one. As a teenager, he learned how to do multi-projector ‘liquid' light shows. Pestering the hippie masters of this lost art and scouring junk yards for old projectors, he eventually perfected the craft until he was doing installations and projections for stadium concerts and large scale raves. At the same time in college he was double majoring in film and religious studies. This journey typifies Amir’s documentary work where he finds his way into complex subjects through roads less traveled. He punctures the surface and once inside his asks larger human questions. His work returns to the idea that no matter how hard we try to craft and nurture personal
mythologies, they can be reinterpreted and reshaped by time, circumstances, and the masses. For Long Strange Trip, the first authorized Grateful Dead documentary, Amir set out to make a film about music that actually felt musical in its approach. Allowing interviewees to speak over one another, endlessly digressing into the various stories, and employing everything from musical stems to contact sheets in its sensory approach. The film doesn’t concern itself much with how the Grateful Dead recorded Blues For Allah and In The Dark. It’s more about how Garcia set out to create an artistic endeavor where the divisions between audience and creator would be obliterated. In that way, Bar-Lev is still the teenager behind the wall of slide projectors.