"Shababnikim" and "The Unorthodox"
"Shababnikim" and "The Unorthodox"
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המופע התקיים בתאריך

תמלול אירוע "Shababnikim" and "The Unorthodox" שהתקיים בתאריך 25/08/2019

The Times Of Israel & Beit Avi Chai Presents: Eliran Malka discusses his successful television series
Good evening everyone, hi I’m Jessica Steinberg, co-editor of the times of Israel, we thank Beit Avichai for hosting us tonight. We are very happy to welcome Eliran Malcha, creator of Shababnikim, Eliran is a Jerusalemite like many of us, we’ve been trying to get him for a long time, so this is very exciting. Please turn off your cell-phones, because we’ll be screening clips from Shababnikim, thank you. We want to give you the lay of the land, we’ll talk about how he came to Shababnikim, then we’ll screen a clip and talk about it, a few clips. How many people were at our screenings of Shababnikim at the cinemateque? How many loved it? So, something that I think is really interesting to start off with, to talk to Eliran about, he has an interesting backstory of how he came to the idea. He great up in Neharya, came to Jerusalem to study at Maale, the film school for religious people. Most people don’t know where Nehariya is. I think that every creator has one moment that defines the TV or film he wants to make. For me it was one moment, let’s say 10 years ago, it was two streets from here. I wasn’t born in Jerusalem, the day we moved here, we finished packing, and me and my wife went to Hillel street. Can you hear me? O.k. So, one day I took a tour at Hillel street and saw something I never saw – a black foreign Jeep double-parked at the middle of the street, the door opened and four cool Yeshiva guys went out, they J-walked across the street, they had cigarettes at one hand and Gemara in the other. Dressed like rock stars. It was very interesting. The thing iunderstood then, there is a whole group, a lot of young Yeshiva guys we don’t know. Why? We take our knowledge from the news, and Haredim in these channels appear only in political terms, but Yeshiva guys have very modern lives. It was the moment I decided to make the show. It was 2009, I just finished film school. Do you want to do some screening? The first scene of the first episode. Those who don’t know – 2017 it was screened on the Hot channel, it was nominated for 8 Ofir awards, the equivalent for the Israeli Emies, it was nominated and won four – writing, directing, etc. The other thing that was happening when it can on Hot – everyone was watching it. It’s about four hip Yeshiva guys, not your usual Israeli TV fodder. So let’s watch a clip from the first episode.
לסרי, תגיד לאבא תודה חמה ממני על השנדליר, מאוד יפה. שואלים אותי שוב ושוב מה היא הדרך החינוכית הנכונה. פנה אלי ראש ישיבה אחד והתלונן שכמה בחורים יצאו לחופשת סקי, חמישה ימים, והתלונן מה לעשות? להתעלם? ולהשאיר, שהרי בסה"כ מדובר בבחורים טובים, לומדים, מצוינים, בסה"כ רצו לקחת כמה ימי חופש. או! להעיף אותם מהישיבה, שהרי לא ייתכן שעכשיו כל פעם שכמה בחורי ישיבה יסיימו פרק משנייס הם יצאו לטיול. גמרה מוטלת בקרן זווית. אותו ראש ישיבה שואל אותי מה לעשות, מה הדרך החינוכית הנכונה. חנוך לנער על פי דרכו. או כפה עליו הר כגיגית? מהי התשובה? אני אגיד לכם מה הדרך הנכונה. הדרך הנכונה.
That’s a big ‘oy’. The first scene of every show, of your favourite show, it has the DNA of the whole show, I finished writing all the episodes, and two months after the shooting I wrote this. If you see the later episodes, it’s not necessary, but it’s a declaration of the theme, a debate – a Rosh Yeshiva in confusion, doesn’t know what’s the right education for a young boy now. I wanted to make the two sides, and didn’t want to give the answer.
What are the two main issues, you were really trying to present here.
If you are in a Beit Midrash, the conflict is between the open and the closed. What a guy learns in Beit Midrash all day, what is his attitude towards Western culture? How much is he open or closed for this. I wanted to make a Rosh Yeshiva that had a sense he might have been mistaken all these years. It was Micha Levinson’s last scene, he passed away half a year later, not because of me, he is a well renowned actor in Israel, came only for one scene.
I wondered if you could tell us about your background, to give us a sense of how much you know about this life.
I am a Dati-Leumi, grew up in Nehariya, was in Bnei-Akiva, Maal’e Gilboa after highschool, and the army of course, what shaped my whole world was coming to Jerusalem, you can’t see them outside Jerusalem. Neharya is a coastal town up north, a lot of people living there but you’re not necessarily going to see these guys there.
Also not in Bnei-Brak, Tel-Aviv. In the central you have divided, Tel-Aviv and Bnei-Brak, not connected. In Jerusalem it’s a big mess. If you go now to Gan Sacer, it’s amazing what you can see now.
This ties us in to the next scene, also from the first episode of Shababnikim.
אנחנו הסיפור עכשיו. שלום צהריים טובים, אנחנו רוצים בבקשה כמה שרוולים של הקפסולות. בהתחלה הלטיסימיה עם ההקצפה, אז הלטיסימה עם ההקצפה, מאוד אהבנו את הפיקסי הצהובה. מהקפסולות, אהבתי את הניחוח הפירותי שלהם, גם שמעתי שי שתערובות חדשות, האפריקיות. נכון, אבל זה מתאים למכונה של אקספרסו, קנינו אותה כאן. איזה כשרות יש לכם? רבנות, אני חושבת שגם בד"צ. איזה בד"צ. רוצים שניים שרוולים של ארפג'יו. זה חת"ם סופר, זה מה. בבקשה, סבלנות. על המלה טקט שמעת פעם? אתה לא יכול להיכנס לחנות ולהתחיל לצעוק על כשרויות. לי זה לא מפריע, לאווירה של החנות. אתה יודע שהיא לא שמה עליך. גם אני הייתי מתעצבן אם היה נכנס לי לחנות ומתחיל לתחקר אותי. כזה חרדי. גם אתה ששמרת שקט כאילו בשיעור, עדיין עשתה עליך קטנים. אתה יכול להתבדל אבל אני לא, רוצה להיות חלק מהסיפור, לא רוצה להיות צופה מהצד. תיקח ת'כדור ותזיוז כי אנחנו עושים פה מנגל. תזיז ת'אוטו שלך. פאק אוף הוא אומר לי. חשבתי שהוא חבר שלך, תגיד שאתה רוצה להיות חלק מהסיפור. חלאס לחמם. כיבוד השם שווה יותר מהלימוד תורה שלך. אתה רוצה שיהי החבר שלך בגלל החליפה, אתה מנותק. אתה סגור עם סט גמרה, בגלל זה אף אחת לא רוצה לצאת אתך. מאיפה אתה יודע את זה? לא אמרתי כלום. טוב, מוכן. נראה לי שאני אממ, יותר מדי ליום אחד, אני חוזר לישיבה. אם אני לא קורע אותו עכשיו. היי היי היי. מה בעיה שלך? אל תגיד לי מה הפרובלם שלי. פאק יו, חרדי חארות. בוא נראה אם יש לך ביצים לשחק אתנו. אתם מכניסים טאץ' דאון אחד המגרש שלכם. סגור. הכדור שלכם.
They win, they get the whole place. We have four – Dov Laser Brown, American Yeshiva bucher who came to learn, from a wealthy family, he has a twin sister, and we have Avinoam Lasri, sorry we’re not showing it to you, but he’s the son of a well-known Sefardi politician. Gdalia is a Tsul, Tsadik ve Ra Lo. A strict Yeshiva guy, all the first episodes are about him. Meir Sabag a Sephardic from Beit Shemesh, in a Yeshiva out of his league. All the four are a group, the two extremes, we see them at this end – Avinoam, the open guy, Zara, Nespresso, and Gdalia doesn’t need it. All the clash, in the episodes, are between them. And to give a little bit of context, Gdalia is new to their dorm room, he is pushed into their room so that their smoother ways can rub off on him. That’s where the show starts. I want to say something about the actors. When we started the casting, me and the co-creators, decided we wanted four unknown actors, we did 700 auditions, 10 minutes each. We wanted something fresh, that people didn’t see, after we did this, we took the four guys, not if you give them the right shirt they become Yeshiva Bucher, they have to make a way. They have to find their way to the character. Every actor needs his own way to the character, how to say Yeshiva. How to dress, hold themselves, of course. To hold the Gmara, they didn’t know how to hold. Two of them are Masorti, traditional. They were in Yeshiva for a week, learn with Talmidei yeshiva. Each had to find something that would make him the character. Gdalia wanted special shoes, not sleek like the others. He thought to himself how Gdalia will choose his shoes. I will take the simple and the cheap. He told that to the seller, and that’s what he has all the shooting. I loved this stage of the directing, that’s how you get a nuance. Each has a different white shirt. The nice-looking guy has a Gant, tight-looking, the guy from Beit Shemesh has it here. Gdalia not very fit, just the shirt he has. Most of the people don’t see the nuance, but they can feel the differences at the back of their mind.
Let’s see the clip at King David, and we’ll talk about another aspect of the making of the show, how it came to be.
Here Gdalia, the second scene of the first episode, we see Gdalia at his date, yes it was bad, it doesn’t last very long. It was his 34th date, and now – we’ll see.
אין אפשרות שהספרים שלי? יש אפשרות אבל א תלמדי בהם. כי אישה לא יכולות ללמוד? אסור להן. ומה בהמשך? רבי ליזר אומר, כל המלמד תורה מלמדה תפלות, אישה שלומדת תורה מתחילה להיות ערמומית. שולחן ערוך ורמב"ם מפורש – אישה שלומדת תורה יש לה שכר, לא רק שיכולה, מותר לה. יש לך תלמוד ירושלמי מפורש. הוא לא חבר שלי. כשאין תשובה טובה בורחות לרגש. אתה מצוטט מקורות בלי להבין. היום זה אחרת. נראה לך שכלום לא השתנה. את תשקרי לעצמך כמו שהשתנה, הבת של רש"י מניחה תפילין. הכול בדיוק אותו דבר. שום דבר לא השתנה. נראה לי שהיא כועסת עלי. גדליה אתה חידוש שלא הי הכמוהו בעולם. הבחורה כאן טוענת שאתה מטריד אותה. אני רק דיברתי אתה. תשאל אותה, לצערי בהחלט. קודם כל לא אמרתי ברכת המזון. זה לפיטה קשה.
Pretty funny. My wife, she is teaching at Midrasha, Nishmat, and she is a Halacha councilor, she is the Rabbi at the house. I sat one night and had to write this scene, we started to talk. I wanted every proof. We had a back and forth for an hour, it was reduced to this scene. I am in love with the charcter of Devora, she has boundaries but wants to make something new in them. It’s intriguing. Let’s go back in time again, it’s one thing to go to film school, see four guys getting out of a jeep, it’s a different thing to make an award meaning show. It’s partially the desk it landed on. Tell us about it.
I started writing, six to eight hours a day, for half a years. I started sending to producers, no one read it, they had “types,” it was “religious,” dind’t see the difference. I heard about Dani Paran, made the Arab Label, I took my car to the place of the production company. I stopped a guy and said do you know where PAran is, told him I have ashow. Three hours later he said I’m going with you. It was the start of four years of rewriting and trying to sell it. You need a customer to buy it. You have only five constumers, you have to convince him it’s not Srugim. You can see how it’s different now, but on the page it’s difficult. We are all at the age of Stizel. Srugim is about young orthodox living in Katamon, Stitzel is about Mea-Shaarim, and Shababnikim is about a different side of this life. You told us about going out and staying in. What are you trying to do on the screen?
This differentiates it from other shows. Israel is a small country. If you are in the USA, you have five TV shows with different presidents, it makes sense to everyone. In Israel there is only one option. The viewer hears the news at 8 o’clock, and this he reflects on the show, and more in the Orthodox film. You loved it? One person loved it. Before you have one frame of the film, he is in empathy with it because of the news. Here it’s not close to reality, I have to bring in a new way of directing. I have to dress them like this, the colours, the rhythm, like Oceans 11, to make it differ from what he sees in the demonstration on the news. Ultimate reality. Do you want to show the mine field scene? It’s in episode 4, the Yeshiva guys are on vacation, Bein HaZmanim, they go to the Golan, there are always mishaps when Yeshiva guys go. I was last week at the north, everyone there were Yeshiva boys, we’ll have an episode entirely in the Kayak. It goes to the center of Haredi politics.
בגלל שאתה מסרב לצאת לבד, הבאתי שני חברה שיכנסו ויוציאו בכוח. אתה מבין מה עשית עכשיו? אתה הולך לשבת בכלא, סיכון חיי אדם, תודה באמת זה חיי אדם שלי, אני אזרח ארה"ב ואני נהנה מכל רגע שאתה לא יכול לעשות לי כלום. אתה רואה, בסוף יצאתי מהשדה נכון? אתה חושב שתוכל צאת מכל השדות האלה לבד. כשחברים שלך ימותו אתך בידיים תגיד לי. נכון הם לא מתו, אבל אתה צריך לשלוח לי זר פרחים כל יום. בלי לייזר החרדי מי היית?
O.k., I wrote eleven episodes, and every time we had a meeting at Hot, they wanted me to write about something political, them not going to the army, and I didn’t want it, I can only lose in that. It was one episode to write. I heard about someone from Keren Kayemet, who said there are a lot of Yeshiva guys who enter the mine fields, when on vacation. I would make of it a metaphor – it’s about the arrogant guy, Lazer, he doesn’t want to be evacuated by the Israeli soldier. I didn’t want to make a statement, just to raise the question. We don’t have a lot of time left, let’s focus on Gdalia, he is uch an important character in the show, represents a different kind of character. A major part of the first season.
It was the most difficult ot cast, because all the actors, saw the Gdalia scenes and made him a nerd, but he’s not. The moment the actor came in, I knew it was him. He didn’t go into himself, he made fireworks in the audition, he took Gdalia to the edge, that’s what I loved about him. From the first audition I knew. There were lots of question, the others thought he was overacting, but I said I wanted him, and he got the best actor award. Why does the first season, why do you focus so much on him? Because it’s easy to take the modern character like Avinoam. The whole outlook of the Yeshiva guy he has it. You can tell the family names of all the characters, except Gdalia. You get tickets to the second season premier – no one knows? He doesn’t have a history, he’s just flown from space, it’s the jewish book-case in a character. My pride in the TV show is that people love this character, not the cool hip guy. Do you want to show us a clip? Yes, it’s from episode 10, and before this, in episode 9, Gdalia is burning a billboard about Begin, a massive billboard with a model, laying in a state of undress, he is making a Maase-Kanaut, Maase-Pinhas, and there are investigations.
לא היית צריך לשרוף שלטים. אני את הבנזין בקושי ידעתי איך אני מחזיק. הרגשתי שאני לא יכול להמשיך ככה. אתה זה שמוטרד? כן, אני זה שמוטרד. אני הולך ברחוב, היום הרחוב מלא בנשים שמתלבשות כמו שהן רוצות להתלבש, ואתה מנסה לא להסתכל, אבל מה תעשה? אתה שומר על עצמך, אבל מרגיש זה תוקף אותך מכל מקום, אני שואל אותך – מה הסיכוי שלך לנצח? זה לא קרה. אני רוצה לנצח כי אני רוצה להתחתן, רוצה לבוא נקי לבחורה. את שאלת אותי מקודם על שידוכים, אני נפגשתי כבר עם 34 בחורות, ואף אחת לא רצתה להמשיך, בסדר, ועד שיש מישהי אחת שאולי באמת סוף סוף יש איזשהו סיכוי, אני לא רוצה לבוא אליה ככה, רוצה לבוא אליה נקי. אני רוצה שיהיה לנו משהו נכון ביחד, והייתם קדושים אליהם. לכם יש משהו כזה עם בעלך? אה כן נראה לי, אני אוהבת אותו. אם מישהי היתה ניגשת אליו ברחוב ומתחילה אתו, מה היית רוצה שהוא יעשה? שיסרב לה, שיגיד לה לא. אם מישהו היה ניגש אלייך, בכל מקום מישהו מסתכל עלייך, כל מקום פשוט מסתכלת עלייך ואת לא יכולה להתחמק ממנו, מה היית עושה? אני שואל אותך, מה היית עושה? מה נשמה, הפסקת סיגריה. אנחנו בעמצה, תעוף מפה, הפרעת לנו באמצע, תעוף מפה.
Shooting a TV show, it’s not by the order of the episodes. This scene was the second one in the first day of shooting. Started at 5 in the morning, shot this at 7. Ori had to realize the entirety of his character by this time. I sat by the monitor, my first TV show, first day of shooting, I had across my mind, if everything is deleted in the computer, if only this scene is aired, it is good enough.
I would agree with you. I want to talk to you about the Unorthodox. You were working on the film in a great creative period, you always seem to be in such a period. It’s about the rise of Shas, in 1983, it’s the first film that has ever been made about the rise of Shas, yes? Yes. It’s a political movie and not a political movie, about a person looking to change something. The writing of the Unorthodox while you were also working on this. I finished editing this show and started filming the screen play. I made a proposal, research about Ovadia Yosef, with Dr. Avishai Ben Haim, after a few meetings he gave me to see an interview with Haim Cohen, there he says he inveted Shas and thrown away after they succeeded. It was an untold part of history, I made a cinematic version of the interview. No one knew about Cohen, he passed away 10 months ago. There were a few sad moments along the way. It was the opening film of the Jerusalem film festival two years ago.
What’s coming up, in film, or Shababnikim?
I’m finishing writing the 2nd season, can’t say much. Netflix – maybe, but I love the Israeli viewer, he is the first viewer of the show, made the show for him. I also write a feature film, about Sipurei Ha Bal Shem Tov. A free adaptation. And he has six kids.
So, we thank you very much for being with us. Thank you. And we thank Beit Avichai for hosting us. We’re going to open with some questions. Please wait for the microphone to come to you, this is being recorded for our podcast, so the viewer can also hear you. Eliran, you must get a lot of ides in the streets of Jersualem. This is almost a technical question, the speed of the dialogue is very fast, I watched it at 75% on youtube, it seemed normal. Did you speed it up? No. I have to say, do you know Ahron Sorkin, one of my mentors, doesn’t know it. I loved the fast dialogue, also because I have ADHD or something, but ithink they have a lot to say and they have to say it fast. On the left. I am excited to see you, you are a mentor to me, I am an actress, screen writer and musician, was in the 3rd episode of Srugim. I loved what you did in Shababnikim, not only does it bridge the word between Haredi and Hilonim, but also the difference in the Haredi, between imitation and truth. I found the scene with Dvora, I translated it, it brought me back to the days when I was learning, I translated it, I then saw it was available, sent it to America, if you want to get it to America, if I could facilitate that I would be thrilled. It highlights the differences in that world. On the female side there are different struggles. I wanted to know if you are going to develop these questions for the female side? That’s a very good intuition for the 2nd season.
I would like to know if it’s possible to have the show presented on Yes, not everybody has Hot.
You need to call Yes, and tell them they should have bought it when I presented it to them.
A question right here. Hi, first of all I love your show, I’m an actress as well, not here promiting myself. I grew up in Beit Shemesh, it’s nice seeing our world represented. How do you balance the life of religion and family, when you balance it with such a completely different world. It’s like trying to mix oil and water, together but never fully blended. How do you combine the passions, the passion of a Jewish life, and the cinema?
I was at the second grade of film school, the most renowned Israeli director, then I had only 2-3 kids, asked him how I could make a film with kids. He said – I don’t know. If it’s something that’s burning inside you, it will be very tough, but it is something I have to do it. I have to get up early and write, I need.
We have a question down over here.
Two very short question, one is quite technical. What’s the film the unorthodox called in Hebrew – הבלתי רשמיים. And I would like to know what the reaction of the Haredi to this film? Can I assume there was only opposition. I don’t think there are no Haredi guys who didn’t see it. It was aired at 8:30. They said that at this hour the Beit Midrash was empty. I talked with a lot. The number of views for the pilot at Youtube, not Hot, is 1.7 million, you add the hot, people know, I think the reason is because the first time, the show – they are heroes in a good way, the most sexy thing in the TV, when I made a research with the Yeshiva guys, they thought I was fooling them, why would anyone make a film about me as the most fashionable thing, but because they got 30-40 years of being the Other in Israeli TV, this is the first time they are at the center of the story.
There are a lot of rabbis I love, but there is a problem of propaganda between Jews and Arabs, that we can’t live in peace. As you see in the video, boy going through and the thing blowing up. I’m wondering why we are acting like that, as Israelis? I think we are going to move on, it’s not related to what we’re are talking about. I can say something. Two weeks before the shooting, the director has to make a big presentation for all the directors. They have to see and approve the locations, etc. I made the whole presentation, and some one asked me – where are the Arabs in the show. For me it was – as you can’t make a TV show in Jerusalem without a connection to this. I didn’t know how to start answering them, how to even approach. There are things that are not related, it’s not about this.
You said, you filmed that scene in the 10th episode, on day one. Why did you film it then?
You shoot on location, you have this room, for ten scenes, you have to finish there first. The first scene we shot was the last scene of the show. The actors have to have discipline, to know all their arch, they have to know where they are now, they have to come back, move forward, in the different mood.
It’s difficult for them.
Thank you very much, I’ll be here to answer more questions, I have the baby-sitter for today.
Thank you very Much Eliran Malcha, and thank you all for coming.

מתוך האירוע:
The Times Of Israel & Beit Avi Chai Presents: Eliran Malka discusses his successful television series
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