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Paper Dolls (Unrated)





Release Date: September 6th, 2006 (Film Forum) by Strand Releasing.
Directed by Tomer Heymann.
In English, Hebrew and Tagalog with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about The Paper Dolls, Filipino drag queens who lip-synch at a popular gay nightclub in Tel Aviv.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Paper Dolls could have been more engaging had it been more focused rather than jumping around between the lives of five Paper Dolls members. Sally, Chiqui, Cheska, Giorgio and Jan all dress up as women once a week for a live show at a nightclub where they lip-synch together. The rest of the time, they work as caretakers for elderly men in an Orthodox neighborhood. As one of the transvestites explains at one point, they got the name Paper Dolls because they are not real women just like paper dolls arenít real dolls. Itís somewhat interesting to watch the five lively transvestitesí daily life in Israel, but not enough is said about their life in the Philippines compared to their life in Israel. Do they miss home? Director Tomer Heymann certainly cares about them, but doesnít ask enough fascinating questions to make this film particularly engaging. Surprisingly, thereís not enough footage of them performing their show. When Heymann shifts to a scene when the threat of deportation briefly comes up, Paper Dolls quickly looses its momentum and simply meanders. More personal, one-on-one interviews with the Paper Dolls would have helped to make them stand out as individuals and to give this film the focus which it desperately needs.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Unfocused and meandering.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 3

IN A NUTSHELL: Lively, but mostly unfocused, dull and meandering.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV


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