Story of Community Forming at Only Gay Bar in Jerusalem


On Feb. 6, the Department of Theater, Film, and Media Studies continued its Fifth Annual Film Series by presenting notable feminist filmmakers and their works. Each of the women involved with the Out of Bounds: Feminist Films and Filmmakers Series has contributed to the women’s movement and has been honored for her achievements.

The series made its debut with Yun Suh, a journalist, producer, director, and writer, who has received notable nominations for her moving documentaries and news features on the struggles and accomplishments of women around the globe. After a brief introduction, Yun Suh showed her 2009 documentary, “City of Borders,” to the students and faculty in Cole Cinema.

The film centered on the only gay bar in Jerusalem, the Shushan, and its faithful patrons who risked their lives to come to the establishment. Throughout the film, Shushan was described as “a place where you can really be yourself.” “City of Borders” not only touched on the difficulties faced by the gay community, but also on the tension and division between Israelites and Palestinians. The film highlighted important events, such as rallies about ending the siege on Gaza and the Pride Parade held in Jerusalem.

The film also expressed cultural issues such as being a part of the gay community and forming relationships with people from different religious backgrounds and nationalities. By focusing on the positive actions of the young individuals trying to make a difference, the film stressed that their mission was to “bring tolerance to Jerusalem.” As Yun Suh explained, “City of Borders” is “a story of hope and about community.” Lisa Zimmerman, a junior, was one of the many students that found “City of Borders” both interesting and informative. “Film is not just for entertainment, but it also informs us about social issues,” she said.

The film series will also feature Jenny Cool, a social anthropologist and filmmaker, on Feb. 13. Her 1994 film, “Home Economics,” takes a look at home ownership, its relation to the American dream, and what issues or meanings this can construct. On Feb. 20, human rights attorney and filmmaker Michèle Stephenson plans to show her 2005 documentary “Faces of Change,” which is about several individuals from five different continents documenting their encounters with social, racial, and gender discrimination.

Each of the women in the Out of Bounds film series offers a unique experience and look into the lives of other people. “I recommend everyone see the film series. They are very interesting,” said Zimmerman, who looks forward to seeing all three of the filmmakers and their works.