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Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Yossi

Ten years on and Eyton Fox’s brilliant ‘Yossi & Jaeger’ about two Israeli soldiers who fall in love is fondly regarded as a ‘classic gay movie’, and now he follows it with this rather wonderful sequel.

 

Yossi is still mourning the loss of his lover Jagger who died in his arms at the Front and he is trying to cover his depression by being a total workaholic.  He’s now a trained Cardiologist at a Hospital in Tel Aviv and when through sheer tiredness he almost kills a patient during a routine operation the Medical Director insists he finally takes a vacation. Yossi is a deeply closeted gay man but his colleagues try to fix him up with dates …. of the female variety …. and his only outlet is his addiction to gay porn and booking the occasional rent boy that ends in disaster.

 

One day one of his patients is Jagger’s mother and whilst she has no idea who Yossi is, he is desperate to tell her about his relationship with her son.  When he eventually does it ends disastrously as she refuses to even accept that Jagger was gay, but strangely enough her husband understands the significance of it all.

 

On his way to his vacation, Yossi gives a lift to four young off-duty serviceman who are also going to spend a few days at the beach.  One of them is Tom a openly gay carefree soul who sees beyond the sadness of this serious man whose idea of fun is laying out in the sun fully clothed and reading Thomas Mann’s ‘Death in Venice’.  It is not easy getting through to Yossi, but he does.

 
 

My first reaction to seeing this rather beautiful lyrical piece was fake horror : here was an Israeli Jewish gay movie where no-one dies tragically and love is not totally doomed. OMG it is possible! Mr Fox’s ‘shocking’ departure from his norm has leading man Ohad Knoller,now somewhat larger (!), reprising his role of Yossi. He nails it so perfectly as he slowly struggles to find his way out of the deep depression and is scared and shocked to find that he can find love again.  His superb performance is what makes this rather heartwarming story so very realistic and completely compelling.

 

When I got over the initial shock of the lack of melodrama, I did appreciate  that Mr Fox has potentially made another new gay classic movie (like ‘The Bubble’) but nevertheless this one is a love story that will appeal to everybody.

 


Posted by queerguru  at  20:20

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Genres:  international, romance

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