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A City With No Pity

Creative Documentary

General View - Lydda

Short Synopsis:
My home town Lydda is known today, as the center of drug dealing in Israel. Lydda has an ancient history of 5000 years, (including the St George church of the 4th century and his grave - Lydda was his hometown too) most of it is hidden under the ground, covered with dirt and garbage heaps. One third of the people who live in Lydda, which is located in the very center of Israel (10 minutes drive from Tel Aviv), are Arabs. Most of them are Muslims. When I came back to my home town, looking for my memories, I found a violent and hostile urban ruin with a surrealistic reality. This became even worse while the Palestinian terror acts continued and especially after the 9-11 events. Lydda, city with no pity, became a mirror of the conflicts and difficulties in Israel.
Tsipi Reibenbach
Writer producer and director

Click to read the Long Synopsis

Director's Statement:
Once upon a time the international airport of Israel was called the Lod Airport. In the fifties and sixties, in the very new and very small state of Israel, Lod was like being near the window to the world. It was also one of the few places were one could see, beside the Jewish immigrants from many different countries, also many Arabs, Muslims and Christians.
I grew up in Lod (Lydda). I arrived with my parents, Holocaust survivors in 1950. I left in 1977. As a child I loved watching the airplanes buzzing in the sky. It was exciting and imaginative. In the seventies the name of the airport was changed. Lod that was neglected for many years was forgotten. The city used to be surrounded by huge olive plantations. Now there are only a few left. My visit to my hometown was painful. I couldn't find any traces of my memories. I found the old city abandoned ruined and neglected. I also found Arabic optimistic dreamers: “One day the whole world will come and see the history and the culture of our city…”

4th century St. George church 4th century Byzantine church and 13th century mosque A ruined oil press in the center of Lod
(Click for a larger view)