Roma - 30 May 2003

A Devastating Love Story in Uniform

A movie about Israeli youth cannot avoid dealing with the long and difficult time of the military service, to which all are summoned, boys and girls alike. No army service in the world is like the one endured by Israeli soldiers, whom are (literally) besieged by all kind of threats. Avner Bernheimer started off from a small outpost at the border with Lebanon to put together a screenplay for "Yossi & Jagger", directed by Eytan Fox. The screenwriter tells the friendship and the love between Yossi (Ohad Knoller) and Jagger (Yehuda Levi), separated by military hierarchy but brought together by generational affinities. They have to live their sexual diversity in a context that depicts diversity as an emblem of a collective destiny. It may well be for this easy metaphor that the movie (distributed in Italy by Metacinema) was the largest Israeli success of 2002.

Tension is always there. The enemy is invisible and could be only a few steps away from the outpost. However, the tension that the two protagonists experience is also the result of the fear of their diversity being caught. A diversity which is still little accepted in Israel, and even more so within army life.

The love story between these two soldiers is interwoven with that of their comrades, who are caught in trying to keep - in such a dangerous environment as that of an outpost situated in a hostile territory - striving for a normal life, made of stolen kisses, music and dance.