Jordan Hoffman is a good friend of mine and, when we can afford him, a contributor to Badass Digest. He's in Israel right now at the Jerusalem Film Festival, which had the bad luck to get started just as fighting between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza heated up. Jordan's first air raid siren was heard on the ride from the airport to the hotel, and he's been trying to attend a film festival under some truly unique circumstances. He's written about it for Indewire, and I found this section of his report arresting:
A few hours later, I was having a drink with three other writers in a courtyard behind the YMCA. (This YMCA is different [from] those the U.S. It's one of the city's most beautiful buildings.) That's when we heard the air raid siren. We were closer to a condominium complex than the YMCA, and I made the split-second decision to head to the apartments. (They looked new, so I figured -- correctly -- that they were fortified.)
Also in the courtyard was a Moroccan family, a woman with her elderly mother and her two children. As I ran to take cover, the woman started screaming, "La sirène! La sirène!" Her panic increased when the door we ran to was locked. Luckily, the next door was open, and inside was a fortified room with Israelis looking either nonplussed or bored, depending on your interpretation.
Now is the time to let you know that critic Nick Pinkerton is a champion and mensch. The frightened Moroccan mother shouted at her son to leave his scooter behind. Clearly he was upset about this, but did what his mother said. Pinkerton ran back and grabbed it.
These shenanigans slightly delayed the screening of the Golan-Globus documentary "The Go-Go Boys," which I did not see. Instead I attended the premiere of "Red Leaves," a film by Bazi Gete, something of a "Tokyo Story" set among Israel's Ethiopian-Jewish community.
Jordan's also reporting on movies, but what's happening between screenings is incredible. Click here to read it all, and hopefully he has more to share.
Stay safe, Jordan.