A movie combining a sexual fetish with elements of Jewish folklore and Israeli foreign policy has won a prize at one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals.
“Tse” (“Out”), a 34-minute project by Israeli video artist Roee Rosen, took home the Orizzonti Award for medium-length films at the Venice Film Festival on September 11, claiming its place alongside such festival winners as Sofia Coppola.
Performed in Hebrew and Russian, the film includes a central scene that features two women acting out “dominant” and “submissive” roles, with the first striking the second as part of a sexual game. In contrast to other, er, films on this sort of theme, the second woman responds not with monosyllables, but with complete sentences — each of which are verbatim quotes previously spoken by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s right-wing foreign minister. “Thus, a scene of erotic pleasure and pain becomes an exorcism,” according to the film’s official description in the festival program. The program goes on to say that the movie offers a contrast between “the present rhetoric of the Israeli right” and the country’s “free-spirited sexual community.”