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Les Mains déliées - Looking for Gay Israeli Cinema
© Esperanza Productions

Yannick Delhaye


Aya Shwed


Esperanza Productions, Ciné+




Outplay Films, ADAV, Outplay Films

ISAN : non renseigné - en savoir plus

Israël, pays de paradoxe. Israël, pays de guerre. Israël, pays d'ouverture. Israël, pays de cinéma également. Si son 7e art est aussi riche que son territoire est petit, on n'imagine pas forcément qu'un cinéma gay puisse s'y épanouir. Et pourtant, des auteurs singuliers ont fait leur apparition, d'Amos Guttman à Eytan Fox, de Dan Wolman à Tomer Heymann. Ils mettent tout en œuvre pour bousculer les mentalités en bougeant les lignes raides des institutions et des traditions de l'état hébreu. Ce cinéma interroge, il provoque, il réveille. Il participe à l'ouverture de son pays. Il invite à la découverte d'une histoire parallèle d'Israël.

Israel means much more than those images of sun and war that fill tourist guides and news reports. The country boasts a potent and challenging cinema culture, with a whole other side of its production yet to be discovered. New and emerging auteurs are championing a dictum that is catching on, namely the necessity of making Israel a more open and free country. The favoured approach is a cinema featuring gay characters whose difference calls for tolerance. The city of Tel Aviv is a veritable bubble, a welcome haven for the gay community that seems to be the beating heart of this cinema, a city that more than any other bears the cumbersome inheritance of a complex and unresolved history combined with the crushing and divisive weight of religion. Nonetheless, for those less familiar with the country, Israel has already demonstrated surprising openness. Anti-discrimination laws have been passed and implemented, as well as the legalisation of adoption for same-sex couples. Widely accepted in a city like Tel Aviv, these facts are, however, far less well received across the country. Cinema and its creative auteurs are striving to push back the frontiers of homophobia as far as possible. Amos Guttman, Eytan Fox, Dan Wolman or Tomer Heymann are all directors who emphasise characters in tune with themselves and their experiences. Grappling by turns with their outsider status, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the military, the Jewish religion, or simply with their desire to change things, these characters are fighting for the right to be gay in a society torn apart by its own paradoxes. And to that end, all genres are employed: fiction, documentary, experimental film… Israeli gay cinema rejects restrictions. In films like “Drifting”, “Eyes Wide Open”, “Hide and Seek”, “Yossi and Jagger”, “Crows” or “The Queen has no Crown”, the desire to send a message is palpable. Certainly, this cinema is still developing, notwithstanding the wealth of films produced and the new horizons still to be challenged