This film combination complemented each other, as they both touch on the theme of social expectations of gender. The short film Jonathan documents a little boy’s love of Ariel from The Little Mermaid and his desire to dress up like her for the upcoming Purim (a celebratory Jewish holiday). Jonathan’s innocence is, of course, endearing, but it’s his stubborn and determined nature that captures the audience. It certainly hit the cuteness meter, and was a definite crowdpleaser.
Paper Dolls: Transvestite dancers that take care of strict Hasidic Jews? I had to see this documentary. The Paper Dolls were amateur transvestite dancers that had Work Visas in Israel from the Philippines.
I expected the Jewish community to treat the transvestites harshly and scorn them in public; however the Jewish community didn’t seem very concerned, and even said that they felt more freedom in Israel than they did in their homeland. I did enjoy Paper Dolls, and witnessing the sadness and fear they felt when the immigration police knocked on their doors. Unfortunately none of the characters exuded charisma, which would have made Paper Dolls a more memorable film. Having said that though, perhaps it’s just my high standards, as this film won Audience Favourite at the German Documentary Film Festival.
Paper Dolls opened my eyes to many aspects of life, such as exploitation, acceptance, and having the freedom to be oneself, only in a very spectacular atmosphere.
Jonathan (15 minutes)
DIRECTED BY ADI HELMAN
Paper Dolls (84 minutes)
DIRECTED BY TOMER HEYMANN
DOCNZ Paramount cinema