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Yossi - Film Review

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by Richard Leathem (subscribe)
Freelance writer. Melbourne based cinephile. Fond of food.
Published June 3rd 2013
Life without Jagger
Director: Eytan Fox (Yossi and Jagger, The Bubble, Walk On Water)
Cast: Ohad Knoller, Oz Zehavi, Lior Ashkenazi

The usual reasons for making a film sequel are purely financial. Milk that Hollywood cash cow for all it's worth. Yossi though, feels very much like a project borne out of affection for its main character and the longing to return and find out what he's been doing since we last saw him with Jagger 10 years ago.

Yossi Ohad Knoller Oz Zehavi
Ohad Knoller and Oz Zehavi as Yossi and Tom

The first change we notice is that Yossi has let go of himself since his army days all those years ago. He's packed on the pounds and has become a tightly coiled recluse - shunning all offers of social intercourse and instead throwing himself into his work. He may be a cardiologist, but his own heart is strictly off limits.

His colleagues at a Tel Aviv hospital know little about his private life or history, although the audience is fully aware of his grief. Even those who haven't seen the original Yossi and Jagger are soon clued into Yossi's loss.

Yossi Ohad Knoller
Yossi without Jagger

Although there are glimmers of humour throughout the film , this is altogether a melancholy rumination of one man doggedly closing himself off to life's opportunities. It takes remarkable persistence from an unlikely source before Yossi even thinks of opening up.

Yossi Ohad Knoller Oz Zehavi
Yossi: Riding in cars with boys

Director Fox has consistently given us entertaining and complex depictions of gay life in contemporary Israel, and while Yossi feels narratively slight compared to his best work, he hasn't lost his touch at conveying the delicate nature of human relationships.

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Why? For fans of Yossi and Jagger
Where: At selected cinemas
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