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by Tomer Heymann


When the second Intifada began, Israel closed its borders to workers from Palestinian territories. Israel’s policy left a big hole in the job market, and so the Israeli authorities began to encourage workers from other parts of the world to emigrate to Israel to fill the new vacancies. Among those who answered the call were Philippine transsexuals. Some had been cast out of their families on account of their sexual orientation. They find work in Israel as carers. One evening during the week they enjoy a night off. This is when they are free to live out their personal dreams, appearing as drag queens in Tel Aviv. “Paper Dolls” is the name of their ensemble that could not possibly appear in public back home in the Philippines as they do here. But although the troupe’s members enjoy Israel’s liberal atmosphere, they are still outsiders and are always treated as such.

international title: PAPER DOLLS
original title: BUBOT NIYAR
country: Switzerland, Israel
sales agent: The Film Sales Company
year: 2005
genre: documentary
directed by: Tomer Heymann
film run: 80'
screenplay: Tomer Heymann
cast: Alex Claude
cinematography by: Itai Raziel
film editing: Lavi Ben Gal
producer: Maja Hoffmann, Andrew Herwitz
production: Claudius Films Ltd. (IL), L M Media GmbH (CH)
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