As part of the Cape Winelands Film Festival, two leading Israeli film directors are coming to South Africa to talk about their films: Yariv Mozer with Snails in the Rain and The Invisible Men and Shelley Hermon with Within the Eye of the Storm. In addition to their screenings in Cape Town, the films will also be screened in Gauteng in the presence of the directors. DIANE DE BEER spoke (via Skype) to the two directors before they left Tel Aviv.
It tells about gay Palestinian men who have to flee from their homes because their families want to kill them, find refuge in Tel Aviv, but are picked up by the police and – because they’re Palestinian – are sent back home where they might be killed.
“It’s a story that wasn’t being told,” says Mozer about this bizarre life these men find themselves living.
The subject of his documentary, a Palestinian gay man, Louie, had been living this underground life being sent back many times, for 10 years. His only choice was to ask for asylum, but then he had no say over the outcome or choice of country.
“We might see another country as a happy ending, but it often isn’t,” says Mozer. These men are sent to countries with different cultures and climates to what they’re used to and it is tough to assimilate.
For Mozer it was important to tell the story. Not even the gay community in the cosmopolitan and free-thinking Tel Aviv was aware of this. It’s also not something that will be resolved because from an Israeli point of view, it is a security as well as a political issue.