by Evelyn Torton Beck

Ortho-dykes In Israel

The powerful film “Keep Not Silent,” by Ilil Alexander (Women Make Movies) allows us to see inside the world of self-styled “Ortho-dykes” and what it feels like to be a lesbian within Israel’s Orthodox Jewish community, which reviles same-sex relationships. Although most of these lesbians have chosen to marry men and become mothers, they refuse (or are unable) to completely silence the deepest, truest part of themselves, which is sexually and emotionally drawn to women. The film focuses on the lives of three lesbians, two of whom must conceal their identities behind a screen in this film, lest they be recognized and ostracized from their communities. Their need to hide is made concrete, creating a visual tension that also gives the film an eerie quality of mystery.

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