Filmmaker Yariv Mozer and the Long Road to Tel Aviv

By Juliet Burch, Washington Jewish Film Festival Coordinator

Most of the time in the WJFF film office we work really hard, producing furrowed brows and beads of sweat with every film program we put on. There are phone calls and emails and negotiations and usually one more phone call. But sometimes we don’t do anything at all and something great falls in our lap. Enter The Embassy of Israel and Yariv Mozer.

The phone rang a week ago and The Embassy asked if we’d like to host filmmaker Yariv Mozer and his new film, The Invisible Men for free. The answer to this question was: YES. Within four hours everything was arranged and, with the immense support and cosponsorship of GLOE , we were scheduled to host an amazing FREE program.

The Invisible Men is about three gay Palestinians who make their way to Tel Aviv to escape persecution and danger, but life in Tel Aviv has its own challenges. To wet your appetite and my own, I found two interesting interviews with Yariv. Here is an excerpt from an interview by Scott Krane published last June in The Times of Israel:

“My interest in people like Louie (one of the film’s three protagonists) began long before I met him. I had always been intrigued by the lives of gay Palestinian men who live kilometers from Tel Aviv, isolated by security fences, checkpoints, and their deeply religious society. However, the political reality of the Occupation never allowed me to meet such men… In 2008, I read ‘Nowhere to Run: Gay Palestinian Asylum-Seekers in Israel,’ a report published by two lawyers from the Tel Aviv University Human Rights Clinic. Their research includes the testimonies of gay Palestinians who had escaped to Tel Aviv… I cried as I read the report again and again. For the first time I learned that there were gay men in Tel Aviv.”

If you’d like to read the complete interview, here is the link:
http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-invisible-men-a-documentary-by-yariv-mozer/

My old friend Stuart Hands from the Toronto Jewish Film Festival also interviewed Yariv in 2009 about his film, MY FIRST WAR (it won Best Film there that year). http://tjff09.blogspot.com/2009/05/interview-with-yariv-mozer-director-of.html

Simply put, Yariv’s films are fascinating and he speaks about his subjects with great insight. I’m right: sometimes something great just falls in your lap. Many thanks to the Embassy. I hope you can join us in welcoming Yariv Mozer Sunday October 14, 4pm. For information about the program and how to be a part of it click here.

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