The video “Fuck You Tel Aviv, ” commissioned by Tel Aviv bar Biggy Z, spends its first three minutes cataloguing the city’s ills, but towards the end, it morphs into an ode to Tel Aviv and one of the best promotional videos that Israel has seen in recent years
Ran Tal and Nimrod Magal, third-year film students from Tel Aviv University, made the film for Biggy Z. Said Danny Halevy, one of the partners in the group that owns the bar, “Tel Aviv’s place in Israeli society is very significant.” He stated that both residents of Israel’s second-largest city and those who only visit occasionally would be able to identify with the clip’s sentiments.
‘Fuck You Tel Aviv’
He added, “It’s extremely Israeli to (simultaneously) hate and love, to complain and to say that it’s the only place that you’re ready to live. To complain is to love Israel unconditionally.” He explained that all the griping is in good fun, identifying himself with one of the Tel Aviv stereotypes mocked in the video: “I’m a Tel Avivian surfer who runs barefoot into the sea myself. The humor is on us, and we hope that people will understand that and not take offensive. The French, as well, whom we really love.”
Biggy Z’s Facebook page posted that the video itself is “a takeoff of Edward Norton’s monologue from the film The 25th Hour from 2002.”
One of the film’s creators, Ran Tal also answered questions on the final product:
Were you really afraid that people wouldn’t get to the end and think that it’s a hate video?
Tal: “There’s always the fear that they won’t watch it all the way to the end. On paper, there were a lot of things that we cut, like buses, taxis, taxi drivers, parking—but we wanted to get it down to three minutes.”
Halevy: “We knew, and we wanted and intended that it wouldn’t be too long, and also that there would be the right build-up. The end left me chills, and it’s hard to give me the chills. We knew that we needed to end the film with a positive feel. Let me be clear, we’re crazy about Tel Aviv, even though it’s not easy to operate here in bars, and we get pretty fed up with city at times.”
Asaf Zamir, the deputy mayor, has already shared the video on Facebook.
Halevy: “Yes, and it’s the same municipality that sends me inspectors at night… But we appreciate the help, and the deputy mayor is a good friend of ours, even though at times we’re disappointed with how the municipality’s conducts certain things.”
Tal: “I saw. It surprised and didn’t surprise me. Big snaps. It strengthens what we’ve done and gives legitimacy to this video’s existing. When the deputy mayor shared the ‘nonsense’ that we made, it says a lot about him and a lot about the city.”
Of all the things that you showed in the film, what’s the biggest “Fuck you”?
Halevy: “I don’t know; the matkot (a beach paddle game) maybe.”
Tal: “Maybe all these viral videos?”