Beating Time: Tel Aviv ’90-’91

Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection. Interviews with several different residents of Tel-Aviv from 1990 to 1991. The lives of poor Arab workers are contrasted to the upper class of the city, who live a very European lifestyle.

0:00Copy video clip URL Color bars.

1:20Copy video clip URL Intro titles

1:30Copy video clip URL A man seals his apartment with tape and wears a gas mask in January, 1991. “It didn’t surprise me when the Intifada broke out. It didn’t astonish me that it went on. Everything made sense. But Tel Aviv was different. Tel Aviv, as I said before, is a bit rather like Europe. But what kind of Europe is it when missiles hit you?” Title: “Beating Time: Tel Aviv ’90-’91.” Shots of people stretching on the beach.

2:59Copy video clip URL August ’90. A woman talks about Tel Aviv. “If Israel was in Africa I couldn’t care less. There isn’t a worse hole in the world.” Her name is Daniela and she talks about dealing with living under occupation. Shots of a large beach party and concert at Tel-Aviv Harbor. Itzik, Daniela’s boyfriend, talks about how Tel Aviv is the only city that gives an illusion of normality. “The only bearable place in this country,” he calls it.

6:45Copy video clip URL Shots of people around restaurants in the city. Alex talks about intellectuals gathering in Tel Aviv to find something worth fighting for. “I hate the way they drive, the Israeli politics, but I still feel this is home, with all its ‘wrongs’.”

9:17Copy video clip URL Middle-aged people dance and listen to music at a restaurant. The owner describes his restaurant as a gathering place for those that “have built this country.”

10:50Copy video clip URL Benny, who lives in the poorer area of the city describes Tel Aviv as a distinct part of Israel, with the same problems as anyone else in Israel. “I don’t think it’s high-spirits; I think it’s escaping.”  “Parties aren’t held here, I don’t need them either.”

12:18Copy video clip URL People dance and party on the beach. Daniela talks about Arabs in the city and how they perform all the menial civil service jobs. Nassier, an Arab man who works in the city, talks about trying to become part of the city, which is impossible for Arabs. “The situation doesn’t allow it, so we suffer.” His friends Basem and Saa’de say “Behind this beautiful city there’s also a black thing, the pain, the laborers who set these things working and return to some corner like Sweto, no difference.”

17:20Copy video clip URL Yosi, watching the party from a balcony, talks about this type of environment in the city. ” They’re burning up the last days of summer… in the end they all get drafted into the army…” he says, smiling.

18:13Copy video clip URL People listen to reports by George Bush about potential American involvement with the war in Iraq. Shots of people in a club dancing to “Seeds of Change” by Tears for Fears.

20:07Copy video clip URL January, 1991. People put on gas masks and seal their apartments with tape while the bomb sirens go off. Alex and his girlfriend wear their masks and worry whether the attack is chemical. Ambulances and people gather on the streets to take note of the damage.

23:09Copy video clip URL June, 1991. People walk around a marketplace in the city, enjoying themselves. Itzak says, “Was there a war? There was but nobody remembers it. A collective denial, it never existed.” Daniela says, “Nevertheless something has disappeared from the city.” Itzak talks about how Arabs don’t work on the streets anymore; they have disappeared. “When they were here they didn’t disturb me much, so now that they’re gone I don’t miss them either.”  Daniela comments that she felt beautiful during the war, heroic, brave and pretty for staying.  Itzak, “I absolutely deny that there were any missiles, and if it happens again I won’t understand it.”

27:10Copy video clip URL End credits.

28:06Copy video clip URL End of tape.



You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment