The chase - Purim 2019 - 21st of March - Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was pouring rain. The streets were nasty, trash and broken bottles everywhere. This was never going to be a smooth shoot but the wind and wetness definitely didn't make it any easier. Nevertheless, we came this far, we had to push the envelope. So we kept looking for different spots, new angles to approach them, trying out different techniques, some reacted as if they had seen a person rising from the dead, some got aggressive and some just ran away... It was hard to calculate what was going to happen each time. We decided to stay in the uber-car and when we would see a situation that might possibly work, we would jump out and set up the scenario as fast as we could and then get out again as fast we could. The problem: one-way streets + insane amount of traffic + people zigzagging over the streets = getting out fast, mission impossible. The bigger problem: Jesse and I were off rhythm and this whole shoot was just bound to be a total disaster.
After a couple of tries of this last technique, our car was surrounded by Hasidic jews while we were unsurprisingly stuck in traffic. Jesse's window was a tiny bit open and one of them gurgled and spit right in there. They were flipping out and yelling we had to pull over, one of them was pointing at his phone screaming he had the cops on the line and that they were a few cars behind us. Sirens were getting louder, the uber-driver was freaking out. Jesse looked at me the way he had looked at me before, so I knew exactly what he was going to say, I grab all my stuff and get ready to run! Jesse opens his door, as well does Dries, and we all jump out, run for our lives. We kept turning around corners, it honestly felt like we were running in circles when at one point, making another turn around another corner, I look behind me, they now had bundled up and there were about 10 Hasidic jews chasing us , and right in front of me, the sirens, I knew this was it, so I stopped running. They slammed me against the rails, then the cops appeared on the horizon, so I knew I was safe. Safe, soaking wet, high on adrenaline, frustrated, unsatisfied, disappointed... Right after their intervention, we left the neighborhood. What happened after: check out the next story.
*we realized that this real life moment might be the start of something bigger. *selling art to raise funds. *raise funds, to raise awareness in the form of a documentary about the suppression of men and women due to religion all around the globe.
Production: Frank Rose Director of Photography: Dries Vanderaerden