YEDIOT ACHARONOT - Novermber 25, 2002
No Harm Done
Channel 3, 9pm There is no way you can over emphasis the importance of the cables' Original Creation Strip that allows original creations as the likes of Yossi & Jagger to get into our lives beyond the shallow commercial TV creations. The strip of Israeli dramas is a crucial 'breeding - house' to directors and screenwriters that have just graduated film school. These are the people that will be the heart and soul of Israeli cinema, that will, hopefully, make move the Isreali cinema out of the wheel-chair in which it has been lying in years.
Yossi & Jagger is a small and effective drama. It finds its way gently between an old-time Israeli drama - including a typical colonel, a cliche of a hard-edged woman soldier, and a military kitchen in crisis - and breaking that cliche by throwing in a same-sex love affair and an indifferent display of the uselessness of the military institute. Yossi & Jagger weaves old, familiar, masculine Israeli reality into the new, self-conscious Israeli reality. This reality has no heroic myths, just regular people. The result is so effective primarily because in its heart stands an explicit and passionate love affair between two men, an affair that just might catch the local conservative prime-time viewer off guard.
And still, in its voyage through all the known and predictable stops, Yossi & Jagger is not busy breaking the well-known Israeli-army stories, but set itself around all of the powerful chauvinistic strongholds - even if ironically - without harming them. The sub-plot - the don't-ask-don't-tell story - is the more meaningful story, through which the drama can sometimes shake it's audience.
This is a relatively low-key, restraint drama, that doesn't rush to the finish line too quickly, does not dive into emotional depths or climb to heart-throbbing dramatic climaxes. It is an Israeli drama, a good Israeli drama. A small, not to sophisticated story about the unneeded arbitrary death, like most of the deaths. It's a very basic dramatic work, but it has to be done. And Eytan Fox the director and Avner Bernheimer the screenwriter knew how to do it.