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Tel Aviv: What I See From Here

The following video is an open-ended three-week visual diary (shot with an iPhone 6S Plus) of my come back to Israel after a fifteen-year “second round” in L.A.-Long Beach. The fourteen-hour non-stop flight from LAX to TLV took a long time to become real. In the meantime, many things changed. I have changed, and so has Israel.
In spite of many distortions by those who look at Israel through the lenses of the media, in spite of Israel’s political contradictions, inequalities, extremists and inner quarrels, I found the country exceptionally vital, better than when I left it, back in 2001. Its energy cannot be described neither visually nor in writing; it must be felt.
[embedvideo id=”164065259″ website=”vimeo”]
What I See From Here from Rick Meghiddo on Vimeo.
The territory covered by the video is very small and one should not rush into generalizations. It includes only a fraction of Tel Aviv, mostly affluent areas, and also a two-day visit to the Technion in Haifa. I move around using buses and trains, guided by Mooveit, the Israeli continuation of Waze for public transportation. It is quite precise.
My filmic choices have been twofold: people and spaces for people. There was so much visual richness along my way that I wished I had a camera on my forehead running all the time. I saw people of all ages, colors and countries of origin. I sensed an informal freedom is much greater than the one in Southern California, border-lining anarchy and yet, combined with high technology, this complex country feels like a huge laboratory from which the world has much to learn.

"Knot," by Ron Arad

“Knot,” by Ron Arad


Tel Aviv Cinematheque

Tel Aviv Cinematheque


Porter School of Environmental Studies

Porter School of Environmental Studies


Sarona Tower

Sarona Tower


Winery at Sarona

Winery at Sarona


University Train Station

University Train Station


Construction is going on everywhere. High-rise buildings are commonplace, not only in Tel Aviv. During an “Architect’s Day Symposium” at the Cinematheque, the city’s Director of Planning told us that, at this time, there are in plan check residential and commercial projects for a total of almost eight million square meters, or about 86 million square feet. These include several towers between 70 and 90 story high. That is the equivalent of four hundred twenty-story high Wilshire corridor buildings.
And if seeing it all is impossible, going through the weekend newspaper Haaretz is mindboggling. Entire pages of poetry, short stories, pages upon pages of op-ed’s on any subject that may cross the mind.
Beyond snapshots at some buildings and artworks, I included in the video some friends. I hope that this may help the viewer to get a more tangible sense of the country.

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