j-flix is an initiative of the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation showcasing the rich legacy of films from Canada’s leading presenter of Jewish-content film for 27+ years. Currently, over 100 curated titles are available for streaming (for free!) including documentaries, feature length narratives, shorts, along with beloved archival films, all of which represent the global flavour of TJFF programming.
Celebrate Pride Month from the comfort of your couch with this selection of curated films on j-flix!
Gay Days, 2009
Documentary | Israel | Directed by Yair Qedar | Hebrew (with English sub-titles)
In 1985, there were three openly gay people in Israel. By 1998, there were 3,000. Filmmaker Yair Qedar, who initially documented this dramatic revolution for the newspaper The Pink Times, energetically combines archival materials and personal stories of those who pushed for change, to chronicle this largely untold story. Prominent among those interviewed is TJFF favourite Eytan Fox, whose films Gotta Have Heart, Yossi & Jagger and The Bubble and TV programme Florentine—which all previously played at our Festival—are contextualized within the dramatic events that are told in this wonderful film.
Join LGBTQ+ at the J and Toronto Jewish Film Foundation for a special Pride watch party and Q & A with Yair Qedar, director of Gay Days. Sign up for free to watch in advance on J-flix, then on June 30 at 1:00 pm tune in to a live Q & A with director Yair Qedar.
Hineini: Coming Out in a Jewish High School, 2005
Documentary | Untied States | Directed by Irena Fayngold | English
Hineini depicts the attempts of gay students at the New Jewish High School in Boston to reconcile their wish for religiosity with their homosexuality. “Where do I fit into my tradition? What does it mean that I’m doing something that’s prohibited by Torah,” asks student Shulamit Izen. In trying to establish a Gay/Straight alliance in her school, Shulamit hopes to create a supportive community where she will feel comfortable in asking these sorts of questions. Hineini is a documentary about activism, self-actualization and commitment to a cause – a film we can all learn something from.
The Other War, 2008
Drama | Israel | Directed by Tamar Glezerman | Hebrew (with English sub-titles)
Director Tamar Glezerman beautifully and poetically focuses on a lesbian couple’s relationship struggling to survive under the pressures of “the Israeli normal”. The Other War follows Elli (Keren Berger from Cupcakes) and Na’ama (Hen Yanni) against the backdrop of the second Lebanon war and the wedding of Elli’s sister. While Na’ama reacts to the war by living life to the fullest, Elli does everything she can to anchor their relationship in the warmth and stability of her family.
Man is a Woman, 1998
Drama, Comedy | France | Directed by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann | French (with English sub-titles)
Klezmer clarinettist Simon is living the gay life in Paris. His uncle offers him his vast fortune if he’ll just marry a woman and carry on the family name. At his cousin’s wedding, Simon meets Rosalie, a beautiful, devout, Hasidic singer of secular Yiddish songs. An unlikely match to be sure. The inevitable complications are at once lighthearted and provocative, while exploring issues of family, society and the vagaries of the sexual continuum.
Out in the Dark, 2012
Drama | Israel, United States | Directed by Michael Mayer | Hebrew, Arabic (with English sub-titles)
One night in Tel Aviv, Nimr, a Palestinian student, meets Roy, a young Israeli lawyer, and they fall in love. Being a gay Palestinian is not easy for Nimr and, despite Roy’s efforts, Israel refuses to grant Nimr citizenship and a haven from his unaccepting family. Both young men are faced with making difficult choices and sacrifices to ensure their love will prevail. As we are caught up in their destinies, director Michael Mayer and the outstanding cast powerfully depict the human toll of this sad reality (which is further explored in the wonderful documentary, The Invisible Men).