Paper Dolls (2005)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Interpersonal Relationships, Politics & Government, Social Issues  |   Release Date - Sep 6, 2006 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - Israel, Switzerland  |  
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The plight of Philippine transsexuals working menial but essential jobs in modern-day Israel is explored in this documentary centered on the outsiders who finally found a place of their own outside the judgmental confines of their native land. Its borders closed at the onset of the second Intifada, Israel was forced to find workers who were willing and capable of performing the undesirable jobs previously tended to by foreign workers from Palestine. With tasks such as caring for the elderly and housekeeping left suddenly unattended, a number of Philippine transsexuals who had either been cast out of their homes or otherwise exiled from society as a result of their sexual orientation were quick to answer the call and seek out a better life in a new land. Though the task of looking after elderly orthodox Jewish men was by no means easy, Israel's liberal atmosphere allowed them the freedom to be themselves while also offering one night a week to perform in a Tel Aviv ensemble known as the Paper Dolls. Often viewed as substitute children by their elderly charges, these thoughtful caregivers are still viewed as outsiders, though they have finally found a place in society that will allow them to live out their dreams.

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Keywords

caregiver, Christianity, drag [cross-dressing], elderly, faith, Filipino, immigration, Israel, Jewish, transvestite