2015 Spring Film Series

Jewish and Gay


Each semester, the Center sponsors a film series that explores how the cinema treats the topics we teach. Whether documentary or narrative, cinematic images have the power to move us to a new awareness.

Leviticus 18:22 in Hebrew Scripture sets down a Divine prohibition: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”, a proscription amplified in several other Biblical verses. Those Biblical injunctions have stimulated limited rabbinic commentary over the millennia. Indeed, only in the last three decades of the twentieth century did the biblical commands receive closer, critical scrutiny. This film series will explore this highly charged topic through an award winning documentary and then a series of Israeli films which openly explore the issue of being Jewish and gay. The Center’s Director, Dr. Simon Sibelman, will introduce each film and lead Question and Answer session discussions following each screening.

The Film Series is held in the Greenbriar Cinema inside the Plemmons Student Union, Appalachian State University. All showings start at 2:00pm on Sundays and are FREE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC.


  Trembling Before G-D

    February 15

This documentary destroys assumptions surrounding faith, sexuality, and religious fundamentalism. Built around intimately-told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox jews who are homosexual, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma­–how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbid homosexuality.



  Eyes Wide Open

March 1

A married, Orthodox, Jerusalem butcher and Jewish father of four falls in love with his handsome, 22-year-old male apprentice, triggering the suspicions of his wife and the disapproval of his Orthodox community.


  Yossi and Jagger

   March 22

This 2002 Israeli romantic drama film is about Yossi, who commands a company of soldiers in the snow-covered mountains near Lebanon who, in secrecy, leads a passionate romantic relationship with his second-in-command officer.




   April 12

This sequel to “Yossi and Jagger” takes place a decade after the events in the previous film. It follows Yossi, who struggles to find meaning in his life while reconciling his past with his future.



  A Secret (Un secret)

   April 26

This 2012 drama is centered on the love affair between two men on opposite sides of the
Mid-East conflict: Palestinian student Nimer and Roy, an Israeli lawyer.




Film Series Poster