Friday, July 25, 2008

Yossi & Jagger

Yossi & Jagger; Drama, Israel, 2002; D: Eytan Fox, S: Ohad Knoller, Yehuda Levi, Assi Cohen, Aya Steinovitz, Hani Furstenberg

In the north of Israel, on the Lebanon's border, there lies one military base. Among it's soldiers are Commander Yossi and officer Lior, called Jagger. One day, while the two of them were walking through the snowy landscapes, they admit their gay love to each other. Of course, they keep that tricky relationship secret. Two female soldiers arrive in the base, Goldie and Yaeli, who is in love with Yagger. At one assignment, the soldiers fall into a mine field and Yagger dies.

Middle length (it's running time is only 65 minutes) gay drama "Yossi and Jagger" won a lot of awards at international festivals, yet it is thought to be a half successful achievement. The story has an opulent mood (unusual landscapes of Israel cowered by snow) and the merit for it goes in an unsmall share to the digital, hand held camera, yet little in the film is really outstandingly great. By choosing a minimalistic approach, director Eytan Fox established a sustained style (the intercourse between Yossi and Jagger is never shown) but that way a lot of things remained incomplete and overstretched. One of the rare wonderful scenes is the one where Jagger starts dancing on the snow after Yossi admitted his love to him, while the songs are great and actress Aya Steinovitz is charming. The finale suggests how war destroys love, which is quite provocative since the author deliberately placed the story in the military, which crafts an emotional touch that compensates for the fact that the film could have been a lot better.



Anonymous said...

I disagree. Yossi and Jagger is an excellent film, remarkable in fact when you consider that it was made for only about $200,000 USD. Sure it has its drawbacks, but it is funny, genuinely moving, and the final scene is sublime. The two main actors are terrific in the film. The review shortchanges the strengths of this remarkable film.

Marin Mandir said...

It was good, but in my opinion, I had the feeling it was a watered down version of an excellent story. It was only 65 minutes long, yet it seems it could have been even shorter. Still, I agree with you that it was moving and authentic. Considering it was made for that little money, it deserves praise.