Keeping it real: LGBT Related Film Reviews

Washington Blade – Greg Marzullo

From Israel come ?Paper Dolls,? a wonderful documentary about drag queens from the Philippines who live in Israel. Director Tomer Heymann delves deeply into the issues of transvestism, gay identity, immigration and the nature of compassion by following the lives of five men who make up the drag performance troupe, the Paper Dolls.

Most of the main subjects work with the elderly, tending them in their sickness, changing their clothes, exercising them and cleaning their homes. Anachronisms abound as Chiqui, the oldest of the group, guides a wizened Orthodox Jewish man to his Torah study session. The queeny Chiqui sits in the room, humming songs while listening to his headphones, and meanwhile, a group of bearded men in black suits debate the ideas in the holy books.

Sally, dressing in women?s clothes full-time, works with a man who lost the use of his voice during a bout with throat cancer. She cooks, takes him to the doctor and helps him into bed. He knows that the help is biologically male, but that doesn?t affect his genuine care for Sally.