Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: In the Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem, a clandestine group called the Orthodykes exists to support lesbians.
Alternate Titles: Et Sheaava Nafshi
Year: 2004
Duration: 52 min
Language: Israel/Hebrew
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Ilil Alexander
Writer:
Starring:
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Keep Not Silent: OrthodykesIn the Orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem, a clandestine group called the Orthodykes exists to support lesbians who are deeply religious, but with a sexual orientation outside of what is deemed socially acceptable. Three women are part of this film, which won the Israeli Oscar for Best Documentary.

Miriam, who doesn’t show her face, is married and the mother of ten children. For twenty years, she has been praying that she won’t be tested, so she tries not to look at women and is careful about the friends she chooses. Her fear takes a lot of energy, but she feels that she has too much to lose to risk being with a woman.

Married and a mother of six, Ruth is filmed through a curtain to maintain her anonymity. She began having a relationship with another woman, and although her husband found out, they stay together for the children. Ruth sleeps over with Neta twice a week and sees her almost every evening. Her eldest daughter left home when she found out what was really going on.

Yehudit is the only one of the three who doesn’t hide, although her father is a rabbi. She is told that if she doesn’t want to marry a man, she should become chaste and devote her life to charity. She and her girlfriend Tal hold a joining ceremony, and her parents don’t attend.

The film ends with Gay Pride in Jerusalem, a world away from Miriam and Ruth. An Orthodox protester shouts, ‘How can the Messiah come if sperm is wasted?’ (AB)