Yossi & Jagger follows the story of Yossi (Ohad Knoller) and Lior “Jagger” (Yehuda Levi), two soldiers in the Israeli army stationed on the Lebanese border. Yossi leads a company of soldiers at the station, and is secretly involved in a passionate affair with his second-in-command, Jagger, who is so called for his frequent lip-synching to Mick Jagger’s songs, and for his rock star-quality looks. The two frequently go off into the open to find time and space to be alone.
Things get a little more interesting when a new colonel shows up accompanied by two female soldiers, adding extra sexual tension to the entire situation. One of the female soldiers in particular, Yaeli, shows obvious interest in Jagger, and is surprised when he refuses her advances. Another soldier, Ofir, makes a pass at her as well, trying to reinforce the lack of interest Jagger has in her.
The colonel has arrived to lead a night-time attack, which Yossi is visibly uneasy about, thanks to a full moon on that night. His worst fears are confirmed as Jagger is fatally injured that night, and he passes away in the embrace of his lover’s arms, the two tragically being able to openly communicate their love for each other only now.
“If the situation has all the ingredients of a shrill, tearful melodrama, the filmmaker, working from a taut screenplay by Avner Bernheimer that doesn’t waste a word or a gesture, keeps the emotional lid firmly in place.”
— Stephen Holden, The New York Times
“Enlivened by journalist Avner Bernheimer’s delicately witty script and some lively ensemble performances under the direction of Eytan Fox, the film offers a haunting portrait of a generation forced to risk their lives in the service of military goals they’re far from totally committed to.”
— Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
“What the movie lacks in ambition, originality, and grit, it makes up for in pure feeling.”
— Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
Did You Know?
Yossi & Jagger was followed by a sequel set ten years later after the events of the film, following the path that the title character, Yossi, had taken since that time. Although Yossi & Jagger originally didn’t receive any support from the Israeli military during its production, its popularity proved high enough with Israeli citizens that military bases in the country began to show screenings later. Review our Gay Themed Films here