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Travelogue Tel Aviv

by Samuel Patthey

This week’s Staff Pick Premiere “Travelogue Tel Aviv” approaches the travel genre in a particularly unique way. Using fragments of memories and literal scraps of paper from a semester abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel, Swiss animator Samuel Patthey reconstructs and analyzes his time there. At just under 6 minutes, the short film manages to capture the dichotomy of Tel Aviv and what makes living there both anxiety inducing and exciting. Told with a scrapbook style, Patthey juxtaposes drawings of the secular and orthodox. Traditional religious architecture bumps up against the city’s raucous nightlife. The sounds of air raid sirens blend into EDM before transforming into random city sounds. Each sketch is just that – a descriptive, but gestural outline of what Patthey observed in Israel. Like the city itself, each page from his notebook contains a multitude of personalities including scholars, soldiers, chefs, and everything in between. Whether depicting homeless people rummaging through trash or Rabbi’s debating the Torah, the film’s strength lies in its withholding of judgement. Patthey used 47 different vignettes from his sketchbook to illustrate his experience, and calls the travelogue an exercise in understanding the city. In the end, we not only understand the beauty of the city’s quiet streets, amazing clubs, and people, but also how the fear of fighting, identity and tradition make Tel Aviv Tel Aviv. Ahead of the short film premiere, we reached out to director Samuel Patthey to hear his thoughts on the film and what the trip meant to him. Read on for excerpts from our conversation.

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