Monday, June 16, 2003

06.16.03...Wow, I'm really making a movie
After a frustrating weekend of many roadblocks and not much action, things are finally really happening. If all goes as planned (ha ha), I am booked every day this week. I am off to Be'er Sheva, in the South, today, to talk to the 16-year-old girl singer of a ska-punk band. Tomorrow, up to Haifa, in the North, to finally spend some "quality time" with Useless I.D.
I may not have much Internet access for the next few dAYS, f.y.I.

Last night was crazy--I met up to interview some guys from the Oi punk band, Smash4$...Dennis and Tom. We were doing the interview in a mall, because that was the only place with enough light at night. The security (every public place has security can imagine why) wouldn't let them in with their beers (!) and as we waited on the sidewalk, a whole group of other punks showed up. It is such a small city and such a small scene. They were all speaking to each other in a mix of Russian and Hebrew. Turns out that many of the Israeli punks have Russian roots. Both Dennis and Tom are immigrants from Russia, and they were saying that Russians in Israel are often treated like outsiders, which may explain why so many of them are drawn to punk rock--a natural scene for those who don't always fit in in other palces.

After the interview we went to this square where they hang out and drink with the
other Tel Aviv punks. I got some good footage of the group just hanging and doing their thing, which I haven't really been able to get so far. Here's the crazy part: one of the kids lived in a punk squat near the square and he offered to show it to me. Of course, this was an opportunity I had to take! They had no electricity or water so i was shooting by candlelight and the whole time i was thinking, "This is just like in a movie!" hA hA. Five people stay on the top floor of an abandoned building in Tel Aviv. The walls are covered with grafitti like "Punk's not Dead." I couldn't see much because of the light, but I was really thinking about how THIS is what punk rock originally came out of. These kids are poor and don't feel like they have any future in Israel. I don't imagine that this is the life that their parents envisioned for them when they came from Russia. Anyway, it also made what Useless I.D. has sone seem so much more impressive...they are the ONLY punk band in the whole country who has gotten their shit together enough to get out and make an international name for themselves. Much to think about...

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