Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Jericho's Echo - Punk in Israel

Listening to The Shondes last week reminded me of a documentary about Punk music in Israel that I had meant to post. The documentary, called Jericho's Echo, has been screen around the world to pretty rave reviews. I haven't seen it yet though the DVD is on my wish list. Watching the trailer was trip. Despite the two decades since I hung out in punk clubs and the different country and social context, I felt right at home watching the documentary trailer. I knew those kids. And it was fascinating seeing both how they are responding to a chaotic, conflict focused, political system (I came of age at the end of the Cold War under Reagan) and how chaotic they are themselves. That's Punk for you. It's always been a microcosm of political society. Back in my day, there were racist skinheads and nationalist skinheads (not the same at all). There were punks full of 'live fast die young' nihilism and straightedge punks who wanted to better themselves. That's just for starters, it got way more complicated than that at times. But it's all there in the Israel scene. The nationalist-skinhead looking Israeli punk in the trailer spouting the same old "if they don't want to live here, than just leave" rhetoric brought back memories, and not altogether pleasant ones, of the arguments we used to get into.

Jericho's Echo Trailer


Julie said...

WHOA. i never knew that there was a real punk scene here. now i'm on a mission - i gotta find this documentary and see the whole thing. thanks for the heads-up!

funny thing is, i don't think that that was shot recently - from the way kids were dressed, etc - it seems like that was shot yeeeaaars (decades?) ago... hmmm, i gotta find out.

(btw - given israelis and the israeli mentality, i cannot imagine there being a straight-edge group here. they are sooo not into that... but you never know... and you can always tell who's gonna be in the nationalistic group - the russian immigrants. that's very much their party line, punks or not. "you wanna live here? then be a normal citizen. you wanna kill other citizens, then get the f*** out." you can tell by the accent that the first group of punks that said that were russian immigrants.)

so jack - which were you? nihilistic? straight edge? a jewish skinhead? :-P

Julie said...

btw - did you know that henry rollins played here a few months ago? i only found out months later and was so bummed - but there's some footage up on youtube... he also shot a documentary of sorts here. it's an episode of his new show - he shot it in tel aviv. i blogged about it and you have all the links there (and the coolest quote that shows that mr. rollins "gets it" - gets what it means to live in israel). here's the link:

Jack said...

Hi Julie. So what kind of punk was I? I was the 'mistrustful of the government's motives and actions and sanity, why is no one questioning this stupidity' kind of punk. I was never a nihilist, though I was perhaps a bit fatalist but I also didn't have much patience for the straightedge gang. I didn't need them telling me how to live my life either. I was definitely a skin-head of any type, though there was a gang of nationalist skin heads that would drive up to Connecticut from New Jersey that were great guys (give or take their politics) that I hung out with on occasion. They had established themselves as the unofficial bouncers at the club we went to and took great pride in making sure that no one caused any trouble. I remember one night a couple of idiots hassling one of the few punk girls at the club. The New Jersey guys picked the two idiots up of the ground, calmly carried them outside, asked them which car was theirs, placed them in their car, and then stood around them en-masse until they drove out of the parking lot. Calm and done.

Jack said...

That's great Julie, I'll check out the post. I haven't seen Rollins play live in a long long time. sigh.

Jack said...

umm. my previous comment was supposed to say "was NOT a skinhead of any type"