Talking Attitudes Toward LGBTQ People

Windy City Times covered A Wider Bridge’s event with Gal Uchovsky that took place in Chicago earlier this month

Gal Uchovsky Recently, groundbreaking Israeli LGBTQ filmmaker Gal Uchovsky provided an audience at the Landmark Theatre in Chicago with an intimate and candid look at his work and how film and media in general have helped spur a growing and even right-wing acceptance of the LGBTQ community in his home country.

Uchovsky is the writer of the 2002 war drama Yossi & Jagger. He wrote and produced such widely acclaimed films as the 2004 thriller Walk on Water and the 2006 award-winning romantic comedy The Bubble. The projects were directed by his partner of almost 25 years, Eytan Fox.

Uchovsky cited several key factors in Israeli society as being at the root of the country’s evolving acceptance of the LGBTQ community. “Israel is a non-traditional country,” Uchovsky said. “We change very fast. [Changes] come in a flood.”

He recalled that in 1998 attitudes towards the transgender community were almost universally negative until singer Dana International won that year’s Eurovision Song Contest. “Suddenly transgender was OK,” Uchovsky said. “She was invited to the Knesset, she changed everything in the way transgender people were perceived.”

Uchovsky also noted what he termed as the “myth of the dead soldier.”

“In Israel a lot of people die young,” he said. “If you were from my generation, you always knew somebody who died. In the last fifteen or twenty years it’s the young people killed in suicide bombings. For an Israeli parent the mission in life is to bring their kids to 21 alive. So gay is not that bad.”

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