Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sderot: Rock in the Red Zone

Back in March, I linked to a post on Jerusalem Diaries: In Tense Times entitled From Laura in Sderot: The last 36 hours...--by Laura Bialis, an independent documentary film maker, describing her impressions of Sderot over 36 hours. Bialis was in Sderot while preparing a film about Sderot.

The name of the move is Sderot: Rock in the Red Zone:
SDEROT: Rock in the Red Zone, tells the story of the people and the music of Sderot -- a town in Southern Israel that for eight years has been under almost daily attack by Qassam rockets launched from Gaza.

Though thousands of rockets have been fired into Sderot, the town's suffering is largely unknown to the international community. But the voice of Sderot resonates through Israeli culture, as its years of anguish have bred a vibrant music scene that profoundly articulates the despair of a town in the crosshairs.

Told through the eyes of Sderot's talented and diverse young musicians, this documentary explores daily life in Sderot and the effects of living under the long-term stress of constant bombings.

From those who have already made it big -- Teapacks, Knessiat Hasechel, Sfatayim, now among Israel's cultural elite -- to the up-and-coming teenagers who play in SDEROCK, Sderot's underground rock club (which doubles as a bomb shelter) the artists and their music represent a culturally and ethnically diverse representation of Israel.

Musical sounds and instruments from all over the world meld together in this place at the crossroads of East and West. As they try to live normal lives, and realize their careers, the musicians write about their daily struggles and the harsh realities of living in Israel and especially, Sderot. Their music captures their fears and challenges, the feeling that the world has abandoned them, the uncertainty of this place. Through Hip-Hop, Folk, Middle-Eastern, and Rock n' Roll, they express their desperation and determination.

To many, the questions about Israel and the Middle East are abstract. But the people of Sderot are at the tip of the spear -- they live the battle on a daily basis. To them, peace in the Middle East is not a question of roadmaps or diplomatic initiatives, it's just a day that goes by when they don't have to run for cover.

This film will not only raise awareness about what is happening in Sderot, but will immerse the viewer in the power and vibrancy of Israeli culture and open a window into the day-to-day life of what it means to be Israeli. Through the words of Israel's modern-day poets, we will introduce our audiences to some of the complexities of modern Israel.

The Jewish Week has an article from June about Bialis, which mentions that as a result of living and filming in Sderot she will be making Aliyah. There is also an article in Hebrew from Makor1.

While there was a private screening of the movie last month, I have not yet been able to find a clip to post on my blog. 

In the meantime, for more information on Sderot and what is going on there, check out SderotMedia.com.

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