Home News Sexual diversity in film and the Israeli Military

Sexual diversity in film and the Israeli Military

by Archives March 14, 2007

With an ambitious showdown already getting muddy in the U.S. for the 2008 presidential race, hopefuls are swiftly challenging outdated policies. Hillary Clinton is even criticizing her husband’s mediocre ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ standard on gays in the military.

In our own homegrown political battlefield, Quebec ‘shock-jock’ Louis Champagne was recently yanked off the air after asking if the Parti Quebecois was becoming a “fag club.”

A look at gay life in the Israeli military was held on campus March 8, presented by Concordia Hillel and the Sexual Diversity Alliance.

It was an eye-opening experience to some who showed up for a screening of tragic and romantic gay-themed movie Yossi and Jagger, followed by a question period with Nir Zemyak. The openly gay commander in the Israeli military spoke about his successful career and experiences being out in the army.

The Hebrew-language film focuses on the secret romance between two soldiers at a snowy and desolate outpost, while others stationed in the unit react to what they suspect and don’t always understand.

The president of the Sexual Diversity Alliance, which is the revamped and retooled Queer Concordia, Molly Haigh, is thrilled by the joint effort with Hillel.

“Working with Hillel was a great experience because it allowed us to reach out to people who we had previously not seen at events.”

“It really opens our club up to new students who might have not otherwise heard of who we are and what we do.”

Before the movie screening the crowd watched a humourous TV ad for Israeli soccer.

A beach babe in a white bikini shakes the water off her many curves, stealing the attention from the guys kicking around a soccer ball in the sand. All the men and their dropped jaws take their time to enjoy the view, all the men but one, the annoyed goalie who wants to get on with the game. That is until a dark, tall and darn attractive hunk distracts the goalie with water dripping off his bathing suit, the ball rolls right past our goalie and everyone has a good laugh. Goal!

The ad was followed by the much more somber 2002 film, Yossi and Jagger, which won several awards around the globe, described over and over again by reviewers and bloggers as haunting and beautiful cinema that many of them found hard to leave behind in the theatre.

Haigh pointed out the screening was not a typical university movie night.

“One of our main goals has been to increase discussion around issues of sexual and gender diversity,” said Haigh. “Because there is such a small percentage of films representing Queer life, we feel it is important to support the films that are beginning to break the boundaries.”

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