This film recounts the travails of a transsexual prostitute, by examining the various stages in her life, following her from her birth in a development town in Israel’s southern periphery, to her death in Tel Aviv. Eden Alfasi lives in an attic apartment in the city’ s impoverished HaTikvah neighborhood. She builds her life together with a pimp, who plays the role of her husband in a relationship that resembles that of a married couple and a young male prostitute, who plays the role of her son whom she considers/treats like a son. They are both part of her never-ending quest for family and belonging.
I’ve often wondered about the death of queer cinema in Israel. The 1980s and early 1990s have brought a very bold queer message with them. It was a message of personalized gender, and it flourished. This is dazzlingly apparent in the inimitable films of Amos Guttman, intended to inflame the passions, but also in Ayelet’ s Menahemi’ s landmark short film "Crows". Suddenly, there was a sense that personal, queer narratives in Israeli cinema offered a significant alternative, paralleling those works focused on themes pertaining to the Jewish nationalist experiment. GLBTQ film suffered a devastating blow with Guttman’s premature death. Since then it seems as if GLBTQ representation in film has come to be dressed up in nationalist themes. film and television alike have since come to be evaluated through military parameters and fertility (such as marriage or childbirth). On the other hand, a more introspective narrative, focused on the complexity of the queer condition has all but disappeared. No longer is there a cinema focused on the uniquely extravagant nature of queer culture, and the dark and turbulent circus that defines its travails. GLBTQ normativity in cinema came with a steep price. In order to gain admittance into Israeli society, every alternative queer work that happened to be thrashing about was abandoned. The form itself practically vanished from the Israeli cultural map. This includes works that were especially important to me – particularly as I dealt with my own emergence as a young gay man and artist. The process of developing this project is a miracle in itself. The producer and I approached Guttman’s family to gain access to his archive hoping to have a glimpse at his creative process and possibly find some more interesting materials that would shed light on his life and oeuvre.
Omer Tobi | Director
Writer/Director Omer Tobi was born 1989 in Tel-Aviv to parents of Moroccan Tunisian origin. His recent short film, "Set me as a seal upon thine heart", had its international premiere at 2018 Sundance festival, was screened at Locarno Festival and in many festivals around the world. In summer 2018 Tobi attended two weeks of workshops at Locarno Filmmakers Academy. His previous short film, "Hounds", won a number of awards, among them: Best Comedy at Aspen Shorts fest, Special Jury Mention at the AFI Fest, Best Independent Short at Haifa International film, and screened at more than 40 film festivals around the world. In addition to his cinematic film work Tobi also created a primetime drama series, "Eyes don’t Lie", for Keshet Israel in which he is both the screenwriter and director, it is currently in post-production, and has developed another TV series for Keshet International, "A Gentle Man", which is an LGBT themed crime series.
Gil Sima | Producer
Gil Sima is a film and TV producer, owner of Sima Films: an independent Tel Aviv based production company. Among the films produced by Sima Films: Girl Talk (2017), Set me as a Seal upon Thine Heart (2018, short), Hounds (2016, short) and more.
Sima attended the “Minshar” film school in Tel Aviv and studied film and Historyat the Open University.
Sima Films’ different projects have been screened in major film festivals worldwide, such as Sundance, Locarno, AFI, BFI, and more, and have been broadcasted in various television platforms, including Amazon Prime Video (US), Fandor (US), Yes Docu (IL), Channel 8 (IL), Canal+ (EU), and more. Beetween 2017 - 2019, Sima has been holding the position of Executive Director of TLVFest, The Tel-Aviv International LGBTQ Film Festival.