Supporting Notes: Ritual Reconstructed Films. Purim Spiel


Supporting Notes: Ritual Reconstructed Films

“The Purim Spiel” (Film 3) & Post-Performance Discussion (Film 4)

These documentaries are the third and fourth in our sequence of LGBTQI-Jewish ‘ritual year’ films. The third film captures a re-production of a musical ‘Purim Spiel’, replete with references to London topography and gay (male) life. The Purim Spiel shown in this film was first written and performed by a group of Gay Jewish men at the height of the 1980s AIDS crisis and as such it can be seen as an act of defiant laughter which incorporates both Jewish and Gay (predominantly camp) performative identities, subverting still further the transgressive, subversive Festival of Purim in which the world is turned ‘upside down’ and during which cross-dressing is permitted, an act which in traditional Judaism is usually completely forbidden.

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