City of Borders

City of Borders

USA, 2009, 66 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Activism, Documentary, Drag, Gay, Homophobia, Jewish, Lesbian, Middle Eastern, Muslim / Islam
Program: Documentary
Language: English, Hebrew, and Arabic

DIRECTOR: Yun Jong Suh

Welcome to the border between Ramallah and Jerusalem, where cement barriers, barbed wire and army guards divide Israel and Palestine. But in a corner of the ancient religious capital, a tiny utopia — the gay club Shushan — unites the fractured LGBT community.

In the documentary City of Borders, four inter-woven stories reveal the contradictions and complexity of the struggle for LGBT acceptance. Palestinian Samira and Israeli Ravit, a lesbian couple, bicker about whether to adopt children during the day and protest the occupation of Gaza at night. Adam, who turned to gay rights activism after he became the victim of a hate crime, moves onto settlement land seized from the Palestinians. Boody, who performs under the drag name Miss Haifa, lives as a shut-in in his family home after receiving death threats from Muslim fundamentalists. And Shushan’s proprietor Sa’ar, recently elected as Jerusalem’s first openly gay city council member, is the subject of ridicule from his Orthodox colleagues. In a pastiche of seemingly contradictory images marrying religious identity and gay life — a marcher in a pride parade proudly hoisting the Israeli flag; a transvestite engaging in Muslim prayer — director Yun Suh uncovers spaces that are borderless, offering glimpses at what these tradition-bound cities could be.

In the short film Lash, Celina discovers that religious persecution cannot kill the power of love.— JENNIFER PREISSEL

Text Voting Code: D321

Copresented by

Independent Television Service and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival


Israel Center & LGBT Alliance of the Jewish Community Federation

Official Film Website

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