We're back in Israel for our
second shoot and it’s our last night here.
David, our soundman, is getting restless and really wants to
check out some Israeli nightlife before heading home. I couldn’t
let him go and get into trouble all by himself, so I decided to
entertain the idea. It turned out to be an eye opener… for young
We head up the evening barred from one
establishment where our Canadian passports were no better than
an Israeli Blockbuster card. The evening wrapped up with some
Israeli kamikaze maniac calling David a “F’N Chink” and to “go
back to wherever the fcuk we came from”. David grew up in a
sheltered and privileged environment. This is probably the first
time he has encountered such racism. I’ve never seen him so
As the Bad Ass Monkey in me was revving up for a good work out,
déjà vu headlines of “Canadian cameraman busted by Israeli
police for inciting international incident” flashes by my stream
of consciousness. To set a good example for my student and not
contribute anymore to the Middle East equation/crisis, I chose
to walk away to fight another day. As we stumble our way back to
the B&B, David grumbles profanity like a bad Tarantino character
while I laughed and farted my tension away. I am then quickly
reminded of the differences in our social upbringing.
Our days usually start with casual cinematic dialogue concerning
the day’s shoot over breakfast. The rest of our daylight hours
are devoted to practical fieldwork be it interviews or
responsive ambient shooting which are more about atmosphere and
metaphors, rather than space. Without sounding too Zen or
pompous about it… they establish a mood or some subjective POV
that simply provide clues to an ambiguity or ambiance we want to
suggest but not explain.
We spend the rest of the day with Mai before our flight. Cheuk
wanted footage of Mai hanging out with her Israeli friends in
Tel Aviv. We hang out with her around the trendy area of
Dizengoff. After she said goodbye, we execute our standard
“drive-by shooting” -- with Cheuk driving and two cameras
grabbing images out the car windows. People were shouting at us
in Hebrew, but we couldn’t understand. We thought they were
greeting us. Big mistake. We just shot the headquarters of the
Israeli Defense Force.
That’s when the security busts us. They demand our tapes and try
to confiscate our passports. But after nearly an hour of looking
through our footage by the side of the road in rush hour
traffic, all they found were cute babes in military uniforms.
They reluctantly return our passports and let us go, but not
without first hauling Cheuk into the office where they
photocopied our passports. I wouldn’t be surprise if our
passport information were filed away in their data for
indefinite suspicion. One of the guys could have been Mai’s
boyfriend who apparently works in the “intelligence community”.
Maybe he is checking up on his future in-laws’ networks and
connections. You never know in Israel.