Retro video keeps viewers guessing
Nostalgic nuttinessNostalgic nuttiness

Retro video keeps viewers guessing

New clip featuring Israeli comedians pulls at heartstrings and tickles funnybone

Renee Ghert-Zand is a reporter and feature writer for The Times of Israel.

New parody video of IDF singers evokes a bygone era. (YouTube screenshot)
New parody video of IDF singers evokes a bygone era. (YouTube screenshot)

There’s a new Israeli music video making the social media rounds that people don’t know quite what to make of — and that’s absolutely okay according to those behind it.

At first glance the video, viewed some 174,000 times since its posting to YouTube on August 6, appears to be black and white archival footage of IDF entertainment troupes from a bygone era, circa the late 1960s or early 1970s.

But when looked at closely, the singers’ faces are far too old to belong to teenagers in uniform. Moreover, one of the female soldiers appears unusually… masculine.

Not an archival film, it is rather a deftly constructed video meant to evoke the sights and sounds of yesteryear — with a touch of Israeli satire.

The information about the video provided on YouTube lists the names of the crew members, including director Yonatan Gurfinkel and producer/editor Anat Rivlin, who is known for her work on the Israeli sketch comedy show, “Eretz Nehederet.”

The performers are Yael Poliakov, Assi Cohen, Liat Harlev, Ilan Peled, Maor Cohen, Roi Bar Natan and Maya Dagan, some of Israel’s leading comedians. They project a campy pathos as they sing and dance to golden oldies like “Al em haderech” by Natan Alterman and Naomi Shemer and “Tamid olah hamanginah” by Yoram Taharlev and Yair Rosenblum.

The closing caption says that the video published exactly one month in to Operation Protective Edge, is “dedicated with love to all the soldiers.”

So is this a comforting, nostalgic love letter to IDF troops fighting Hamas in Gaza? Or is it a sendup of the military’s musical traditions?

It could be either. Or neither.

An anonymous source close to the project refused to confirm the video’s intention, revealing to The Times of Israel only that the creative team put the clip together in one week and did all the filming and editing in just one day.

“We decided not to give any interviews to the media and prefer to let the video speak for itself,” the source said.

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