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Jewish film festival features LGBT films

By |2006-04-27T09:00:00-04:00April 27th, 2006|Entertainment|

By BTL Staff

The annual film festival presented by the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit begins year eight on April 30. The year’s line-up includes three LGBT issue films including the drama “Walk On Water,” “Keep Not Silent” and “Hineni: Coming Out in A Jewish High School.”
“Walk on Water” by Israeli director Eytan Fox is a non traditional attempt to understand the role that is still played by the past in the lives of Israeli and German young people. Before “Walk On Water” Fox directed “Yossi and Jagger,” a story of love between two Israeli solders.
In “Walk On Water,” Israel’s top film star Lior Ashkenzai (“Late Marriage”) plays a hit man for Mossad given the mission to track down the very old Alfred Himmelman, an ex Nazi officer, who might be still alive. Pretending to be a tourist guide, he befriends Himmelman’s grandson Axel (Knut Berger), in Israel to visit his sister Pia (Caroline Peters).
Eyal and Axel set out on an extended tour of the country during which Axel’s frank and open attitude challenges Eyal’s rigid, cliched values. Their friendship grows until he learns of Axel’s homosexuality. To finish his mission Eyal has to go to Germany. He meets Axel once more and succeeds in being invited to a family party where secrets will be revealed.
“Walk On Water” features an international cast that includes acclaimed German actors Carola Ranier and Hans Tischler, Israeli Gideon Shemer and Palestinian Yousuf (Jo) Swaid.
Showing together at 5 p.m. on May 3 at Commerce and 5 p.m. May 4 in Ann Arbor are “Keep Not Silent” and “Hineni: Coming Out in A Jewish High School.”
Winner of the Israeli Oscar for Best Documentary, director Ilil Alexander’s stunning debut “Keep Not Silent” documents the clandestine struggle of three women fighting for their right to love within their beloved Orthodox communities in Jerusalem. All three are pious, religiously committed women and members of a secret support group they named themselves: “Ortho-Dykes.”
And though their life choices exact a devastating price, these women are committed to confronting their duality with a profound compassion toward their society. Their fight for self-realization, honesty and acceptance is a model for those who struggle with issues of religious and sexual identity.
“Hineni: Coming Out in A Jewish High School” is a deeply felt document about a young girl negotiating conflicts between tradition and modernity.
Homosexuality in the Jewish community is the canary in the mine of deep, profound changes that loom on the horizon, and this timely film deals with them by chronicling Shulamit Izen’s fight to start a gay-straight alliance at Gann Academy, the New Jewish High School of Greater Boston. Beyond the struggle to create a supportive environment for gay and lesbian students and teachers at the school, this is the story of a community wrestling with the very definition of pluralism and diversity in a Jewish context.
A discussion with guest producer Idit Klein will follow the film at both locations. The screening of “Hineni: Coming Out in A Jewish High School” and “Keep Not Silent” are co-sponsored by the Jewish Gay Network and Temple Israel.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.