The 66th Berlin International Film Festival features a plethora of Jewish and Israeli films. Notable among them: Tomer Heymann’s “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now” about an HIV-positive Israeli reconciling with his religious family.
The story of five gay, cross-dressing Filipino migrants in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv who work by day as caretakers for elderly Hasidic men and by night transform into a musical drag act, might seem improbable. But it is a true story. Based on Tomer Heymann’s award-winning 2006 documentary of the same name, the world premiere of “Paper Dolls,” a play with music, is currently showing at the innovative Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, north London.
“The Queen Has No Crown,” Tomer Heymann’s devoutly personal look at family, gay identity, and homelessness, is a document of the ideological and geographical peregrinations of one Israeli family. Recently screened at the JCC in Manhattan as part of its Feigele Film Festival, and showing August 7 at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the film was crafted from a decade’s worth of home videos and a precious trove of 16- and 8-millimeter film given to Heymann by his father. The resulting movie has no overt dogmatic or political message, nor does it chronicle any remarkable event, such as death or illness. At heart, it’s a profoundly human look at the run-of-the-mill challenges a family faces by its very nature — and the inevitable gaps that form in the sense of home as one tribe becomes many.