January 02, 2014

Movie of the Month - January

Yossi & Jagger (2002)

Based on a true story, Yossi & Jagger portrays the love
affair of two Israeli officers in a remote army base on the Israeli-Lebanese border

Yossi is the stoic company commander of an Israeli Defense Forces unit on the Lebanese border. Jagger, who got his nickname thanks to his fun-loving rock star appeal, is the platoon leader. They have a secret. When they walk off in the snow together, it isn't because they're on patrol--it's because they're lovers. Jagger is more gregarious. He tells Yossi that he loves him, and longs to hear Yossi say it back to him. He makes plans for their future together, urging Yossi to leave the army with him when Jagger's mandatory service is done. Yossi can't bring himself to make any promises. "This isn't some. . .American movie," he tells Jagger. The colonel arrives with two female soldiers, the irrepressible sexpot Goldie and her more introspective friend Yaeli, who harbors a serious crush on Jagger, and is herself pursued by Jagger's nosy roommate, Ofir. As the unit's perfectionist chef, Yaniv struggles to make a sumptuous meal for the commanding officer with meager supplies, the colonel tells Yossi that Hezbollah forces are expected to cross the border, and the already exhausted unit needs to set up an ambush that night. The colonel is there to supervise a night-time ambush, of which Yossi is resentful because of the full moon, and also because he fears for his soldiers' safety. And indeed Jagger is fatally injured that night, dying in the arms of his lover, who only now is able to articulate his love for him.

At the funeral reception at Jagger's parents' house, Jagger's mother mistakes Yaeli for his girlfriend. She laments that she knew very little about her son, including his favorite song, which only Yossi is able to tell her was "Bo"

Yossi & Jagger, directed by Eytan Fox, was a critical and commercial hit in Israel. It was shown at the 2003 Berlin International Film Festival and had its U.S. premiere at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival.

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