My first exposure to punk music from the Middle East came in the form of the Public Domain/Nekhei Naatza split release from many moons ago. Now we have “Jericho’s Echo,” an engaging documentary that covers the punk scene in Israel, with many bands (the most well-known of the bunch being Useless I.D.) and ideals being featured. The people behind the music talk about politics (or lack thereof), violence, the problems with being punk in that area of the world, and more. For the most part, it mirrors what goes on in the American punk scene, with some bands being left wing, some being right. The only difference is that suicide bombers don’t usually take out fans and band members before a show at some club in Vermont.
Director Liz Nord deserves credit for shedding light on something that isn’t known about by many people not already involved in the punk music scene. That strength is also the documentary’s weakness, however, as anyone unaware of it probably won’t be interested in it in the first place. It is well worth seeing, however, by anyone who likes to learn about underground music from different parts of the world, as it shows that the human drive to create prevails in even the most intense situations.