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- Summary: After closing the border to Palestinian workers, Israeli authorities sought to fill gaps in the job market by encouraging emigrant workers from other parts of the world. Among those who answered the call were Filipinos in various stages of gender transition. These individuals who see themselves in a female persona, shunned by their families and communities at home, build new lives in Israel as caregivers for elderly, orthodox Jewish men, many of whom come to look upon them as substitute children. On their nights off, the workers perform as a drag queen ensemble, "Paper Dolls," in Tel Aviv nightclubs. Although the troupe's members enjoy Israel's liberal atmosphere, they are still outsiders and are always treated as such. Tomer Heymann's moving documentary explores the role of immigrant worker in Western culture, and delves into the lives of societal outcasts seeking freedom and acceptance, however tenuous. (Strand Releasing)… Expand
- Director: Tomer Heymann
- Genre(s): Documentary
- More Details and Credits »
88Heymann's film was originally a six-part series for Israeli TV. The feature he and his crew have made smoothly truncates those three hours into a rich, discretely damning 85-minute portrait of intolerance.
80A documentary about transsexuals from the Philippines working as caregivers in Israel sounds highly specialized in its appeal, but Heymann brings to Paper Dolls not only an engaging poignancy and depth but also a powerful universality.
Observing the close relationships they develop with clients, the openly gay Heymann becomes, both hilariously and wistfully, part of a community that possesses in spades what's missing in his own life--the gift of happiness and living well in unfriendly surroundings.