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Toward the end of the documentary by Shirli Nadav, "Avi Haheikhal" ("Chief Builder") about Tel Aviv’s central bus station, the camera lingers for long, hypnotic and exasperating moments on an ostensibly routine scene: An elderly couple is trying to enter a bathroom in the complex. The turnstile is coin-operated. The woman first drops in a one-shekel coin. The door does not react. She tries to push the iron teeth of the turnstile, but in vain. Another attempt succeeds, somehow. She crowds in together with someone else, whose luck held when the turnstile opened for him, and she enters. Her partner, who was pushed back meanwhile, tries his luck and drops in a coin. The mechanism jams again. He remains outside. He tries using force, in vain. He is outside, she is inside. Frustrated and desperate, in broken Hebrew, they turn for help to a station employee she spotted from afar.

The dialogue that develops from here on, like the entire scene, is a parable that in a few incisive minutes distills the experience of the station and the sense of dead-end and helplessness that Nadav discovered there.
In their distress, the couple calls to the employee and ask her to open the door for them or remove the shekel from the machine. She replies that she has no key and in any case, she is not allowed to open the door, she’s not the landlord here, only the cleaning woman. I don’t have a shekel, I don’t have money, no shekel, no money, she repeats, her voice rising and cracking. Enough, I’m sick of this work,  I don’t want to work here. I want to leave. That’s it, she says, and her despair mingles with theirs.

The half-hour film is the final project for Nadav’s master’s degree in the Department of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University.

Catalogue no. 1310
File: N

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 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

Chief Builder

Toward the end of the documentary by Shirli Nadav, "Avi Haheikhal" ("Chief Builder") about Tel Aviv’s central bus station, the camera lingers for long, hypnotic and exasperating moments on an ostensibly routine scene: An elderly couple is trying to enter a bathroom in the complex. The turnstile is coin-operated. The woman first drops in a one-shekel coin. The door does not react. She tries to push the iron teeth of the turnstile, but in vain. Another attempt succeeds, somehow. She crowds in together with someone else, whose luck held when the turnstile opened for him, and she enters. Her partner, who was pushed back meanwhile, tries his luck and drops in a coin. The mechanism jams again. He remains outside. He tries using force, in vain. He is outside, she is inside. Frustrated and desperate, in broken Hebrew, they turn for help to a station employee she spotted from afar.

The dialogue that develops from here on, like the entire scene, is a parable that in a few incisive minutes distills the experience of the station and the sense of dead-end and helplessness that Nadav discovered there.
In their distress, the couple calls to the employee and ask her to open the door for them or remove the shekel from the machine. She replies that she has no key and in any case, she is not allowed to open the door, she’s not the landlord here, only the cleaning woman. I don’t have a shekel, I don’t have money, no shekel, no money, she repeats, her voice rising and cracking. Enough, I’m sick of this work,  I don’t want to work here. I want to leave. That’s it, she says, and her despair mingles with theirs.

The half-hour film is the final project for Nadav’s master’s degree in the Department of Film and Television at Tel Aviv University.

Catalogue no. 1310
File: N

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis