Wednesday, April 27, 2005
spotlight on Israeli documentaries
This week there is a documentary film festival going on here in Toronto (I'm told the biggest in the world, I think) called Hot Docs and this year there is a special spotlight on Israeli documentaries. I have been able to reap the benefit of this spotlight by getting a few tickets for some of the films.

Last night I went to a double-header and saw one film called "Keep Not Silent (Ortho-Dykes)" and another film called "Say Amen". Here is a synopsis for "Keep Not Silent":

"This award-winning film explores the secret lives of three orthodox Jewish lesbians who join an underground support group to cope with their conflicting worlds. The religious 'ortho-dykes' include Miriam-Esther, a married mother of 10; Ruth, whose husband allows her to see her female lover twice weekly; and Yudith, a rabbi's daughter who openly declares her sexuality. The intensity with which these women struggle with their conflicting worlds of faith and sexuality is profound, and the personal costs of the choices they face - continued self-suppression versus coming out to an intolerant society - are high."

This was an extremely powerful movie as it filmed these woman wrestling with conflicting feelings and values. An amazing film, I highly recommend it.
Here's a synopsis for "Say Amen":

"The walls are closing in around David Dery in his homophobic - and increasingly claustrophobic - world. The youngest in a large, outspoken and orthodox Jewish family, David has yet to share the news of his sexuality with the rest of the Dery clan. The 'don't ask, don't tell' policy is not one that this colourful family ascribes to, and David faces a constant barrage from his brothers and parents, demanding to know when he will bring a nice girl home for Shabbat dinner. As the pressure builds, David must make the difficult decision to fight for acceptance and risk losing his family. David's brave first-person account provides an authentic and moving portrait of the tension between the modern and traditional societies in Israel."

This film was heart wrenching to watch as the young man, David, reveals his homosexuality to his extremely religious family. I often wonder how it is that parents can trade their child in for religious beliefs. Is religion really more important than loving your child? Good film, give you lots to think about.

Tonight I am seeing a film (with fellow blogger Andrea) called "The Next War: Radical Zionists in the Holy Land" which I am really looking forward to. I hope it helps me understand another side of Israel and Judaism and the overall battle for Gaza and the West Bank. Every religion has it's fanatics, and Judaism is no exception.