‘Jonathan Agassi’ Documentary Paints Portrait of Israeli Gay Porn Star –

Award-winning Israeli director Tomar Heyman is touring the United States in support of his latest documentary, Jonathan Agassi saved my lifeA film that has been praised in newspapers as geographically different New York Times And Israel Haretz.

Agassi was discussed about joining the film with Heyman to open a U.S. theater. But her work ethic has kept her in Tel Aviv for the time being, where she is currently making a living in a rather mundane field that brought her former notoriety – homosexuality.

While the film does not express a keen interest in Agassi’s career in adult entertainment, this does not mean that it is not clear. Within the first two minutes of the documentary, Agassi pulls out his, aha, equipment, stuff, preparing for a live sex show. Heyman told Deadline that an uncensored depiction of Agassi’s work was essential to his filmmaking approach.

Tomar Heyman, director of Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life

Director Tomar Heyman
Courtesy of Marie Laukanen

“My main point was that there was something so powerful about Jonathan that I wanted to know. And that includes her job and, of course, the tools she uses to take part in this job, which is her gender, “says Heyman.” I need to understand Jonathan and where he came from and what he does. . “

Heyman added, “I felt from the beginning that there must be some gap between the fantasies that Jonathan presents to millions of people and what is actually happening inside. And I was curious to find out what that gap was. “

It’s a film of striking intimacy – not so much sexual, but psychological intimacy. It apparently explores the downward spiral of a man at the top of the world, but hides deep wounds and unresolved trauma for a kind of congratulatory mask.

Jonathan Agassi and mother Anna Langer

Jonathan Langer, a young man with his mother, Anna Langer
Courtesy of the Langer family

Agassi, who is now in his late 30s, was born in Brooklyn to Jonathan Langer and grew up in Holon outside Tel Aviv. He thinks he was teased for his feminine appearance as a boy, but he admits his sexual identity. Even before he left adolescence, he said he had embraced his showmanship side, starting with the publication of a nude photo for an Israeli publication.

“Do you want to shoot naked?” He remembers being asked by a photographer. “Yes, I can!” I was 17 or 18 when I was shooting [stills] For the first time, completely naked, for Israel’s largest gay magazine. And I did it and I never understood why I was so open about my sex. “

When Heyman contacted him about the documentary project, Agassi seemed to see the idea as lark.

“In the beginning, the main reason I wanted to do this film was to show everyone how beautiful my life is and how successful I am,” he recalls. “I am this gay Jewish man from Tel Aviv — not even from Tel Aviv, but somewhere near Tel Aviv. It was just that I wanted to show it. “

Jonathan Agassi

Jonathan Agassi
Lucas Entertainment

By then Agassi has become one of the world’s top gay porn stars, signing a special deal with Lucas Entertainment, a major industry player. She works as an escort to supplement her income. In fact, he says when Heyman first contacted him, he assumed it was his sexual service.

“I was a porn star and I used to do escorting and everything. And this guy that I don’t know [Heymann] Sent me a message on Facebook, like, ‘I got an offer for you.’ So I said, ‘OK, no problem. My address: You should come at this time, I will wait for you, “Agassi recalls. “I wore almost nothing [when Heymann showed up]. ‘How do you pay? And what do you want from me? ‘ And then he said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no. You can go after the dress. I need to talk to you about something completely different from what you think. ‘ And I said, ‘OK, no problem.’ I went and I got dressed. “

In the film, Agassi explains that he felt his title sounded too ordinary, so he chose something more foreign as his name. Pornography. What he was really doing was adopting a changing ego.

“[Jonathan Agassi] A character who takes me whenever I need his help, ”he said in the documentary. Despite this clear insight into herself, Agassi never forced her to have porn at that stage and then almost became detached from her addiction.

“It’s the opposite of Hollywood, this movie. It’s the dark side of Hollywood, somehow. This is the backstage of the sex industry, “he said. “I work hard for it – not for judgment. I think it’s very easy to come from a moral point of view: ‘I’m a good person; I will judge you. ‘ You won’t find it in movies. “

Anna Langer comforts her son Jonathan Agassi

Anna Langer comforts her son Jonathan Agassi
Hayman Brothers Films / Eddie Reyes

Agassi’s mother, Anna Langer, played a key role in the film. She expressed her unconditional emotional support and unconditional love for her son. It’s a bond that sometimes leads to co-dependence, especially when mom and son deal with a troubled personality in their lives – Jonathan’s missing father Robbie, Anna’s ex-husband. Jonathan split when he was a child and his son grew up in Israel living in Germany.

An important moment in the film comes when Jonathan remembers meeting his father when he was about 11 years old. Her father, dressed her in feminine form and calling her “Homo”, recalls adult Agassi. Worse, according to Agassi, he says his father tried to seduce him into having sex with his German girlfriend.

“I never saw it as traumatic,” Agassi said Haretz In 2018. “Perhaps my salvation was that it was not part of my consciousness.”

To make Jonathan Agassi saved my life The film manages to entertain as well as inform.

Jonathan Agassi, the subject of 'Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life'

Jonathan Agassi
Hyman Brothers Films / Rick Day

“Tomer and I… we started talking about the more emotional things in my life and the more emotional parts of my life and what happened and didn’t happen. I was completely oblivious to what had happened to my father, “Agassi observed. “I learned a lot about myself from this film. When I first saw the film, I couldn’t believe how emotional it was. I still, even today, when I see it, I cry. “

He added, “This picture, it taught me, where did I come from?”

Agassi says his Mao film has experienced healing.

“I’m sure my mom had reservations at the time of filming, but I know for sure now that she’s very happy with it,” he says. “He thinks it saved my life and actually gave him some kind of approval for the way he acted with me, the way he always was for me and he always supported me … he was always hesitant, like, ‘Am I right?’ I did the job [when Jonathan was younger]? I was her mother and didn’t say, “No, you’re not doing porn!” She got this approval [from the film] And it empowered her completely and I am so happy for it because I always told her, ‘You are the best mother. I mean, I was in trouble because you did the best you could then. I really suffered. ‘

Heyman will take part in a Q&A session for his film tonight at Angelica Village East in New York City. The documentary opens Friday at Laemmle Glendale in the Los Angeles area, where the director participates in a Q&A session on Friday and Saturday. Heyman released an earlier version of the film in Israel a few years ago, but plans to release it in the United States were thwarted by the epidemic.

“It simply came to our notice then. The movie was on the shelf, “Heyman explained.” I was depressed.

Jonathan Agassi, the subject of 'Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life'

“I really, really like to play with my masculinity,” Agassi told Deadline.
Hyman Brothers Films / Thomas Shemesh

Finally, when the opportunity arose for the US show, the director decided to revisit his previous cut. He has changed scores and other elements.

“I felt that when the film reached its final stage, the impact was not as strong as it could have been. So I felt that the moment needed to be extended, “he said.” Secondly, I felt there was some fat in the film that needed to be trimmed. To prepare for, I decided to cut them out … The bottom line is that it’s important for me to get an update right now. It’s about what happened in Jonathan’s life that wasn’t in the original picture. “

The news from Agassi Front is positive.

“I am just happy to be free. And I’m glad to say that I have a very regular job and I have a happy life, like a regular one, “he told the deadline.

Agassi is working in a supermarket, which is why he was barred from traveling to the United States for screening here. Sometimes people can recognize him in the store from his previous career.

Agassi said: “Most people are curious to know if I’m okay with this. And I have. “

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