Unheard Voices

25 Minutes, 2020
Student Film
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Directed by: Maayan Porat
Production:Lior Hanegbi
Production Company:Sapir Academic College
Photographer: Yael Rozen
Language: Hebrew
Subtitles: English, Hebrew

Filmmaker Maayan Porat’s documentary short which she made as a student at Sapir College’s School of Audio & Visual Arts opens with footage of Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market. As men are seen onscreen offloading delivers ahead of the workday, a woman’s voiceover narration is heard as she recalls how in her younger days, she was taught to observe the Jewish law of ‘negiah’ [forbidding women of having any physical contact with the opposite sex, save for their partner, whilst menstruating – EE] through the tomato proverb: a man goes over to the tomato stall at the market and asks for a tomato which no one else has handled yet, because “no one wants a used tomato.”
All throughout the film, the visuals and soundtrack move concurrently; at times paralleling, at other times contradicting – and all the while feeding into each other. The scene shows us the market in all its cast of diverse characters and transients, including women of various ages and locations moving about this masculine sphere. The soundtrack, meanwhile, unfurls the testimonials of eight religious women who recall their sexual awakening experiences, the accompanying guilt and the longing for intimacy, physical contact, and human touch.
Unheard Voices won Best Documentary at Israel’s Cinema South Festival.

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