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Directed by Assaf Hayut | Review by Riya Saha

Keep your tongue firm, And your lips from speaking Deception – Nisim (Glory)

[dropcap]Set[/dropcap] on the backgrounds of Israel, the film ‘Glory’ is a depiction of physical and mental oddities and deformaties first and foremost. Brought into the light in a way that glorifies its characters- not in terms of heroic courage, but in terms of determination, choice and free will against the odds. At times it points in the opposite direction; a glorious deprivation and failure, but glorious nonetheless.

‘Glory’ is an experimental Documentary directed by Assaf Hayut, follows three relationships coerced by hardships and necessity. Firstly, Gideon and Nisim fend their decaying home against unknown outer force. According to their discussion the house used to be bustling with life and animals, today there are nearly none left. While Gideon suspects that the house is being broken into and animals being stolen, Nisim tends to find more logical explanations for the animal’s disappearance.

Secondly, Shaul, the dwarf and Assaf, his orthodox Jewish chauffeur, meet following the death of Shaul’s father. Shaul struggles with guilt following the death of his father and we learn that people at the his father’s synagogue blame his death on Shaul becoming secular, to his father’s disdain.

Finally, Lila and Assaf (the director), brought together by sexual and emotional desires and needs. We begin with Assaf raving poorly against transexual people and their users, ending by admitting he is one of those users. We meet Lila and an accomplice arriving to Israeli shores by a boat, fully dressed as a Muslim woman, probably escaping her own country.

The film starts with Assaf (the director) exploring  and expressing  his sexual encounters and emotional interest in transexuals. He explores  the sites meets and explain the reality of that place.  Next we see Nisim singing a song explaining Gideon to seek peace and pursue it.  They both try to fend their old home, and speaks about the animals that pets that they had.

The next scene shows Shaul speaking about his youth, he says “ rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth.” With his words he shows that he is not truly happy with his life.

On the next scene the two women arrive on  a boat, through the scenes we can understand that they are transexual. Next we see Shaul and Assaf party while he reveals that he met with Shaul after the death of his father.‘Glory’ lets us meet Lila, who loves independency, and freedom against all odds. According to Lila,  the only man who can be with her should feel good about himself. Someone who doesnot care about anybody else, and someone who would love her personality. ‘If you are a man  you are a man, and if you are a girl, you are a girl, but that’s not how I see it. If god doesn’t want me to be here I won’t be here, and because I am not not a girl or a boy I can’t change myself. I don’t want to, because that would frustrate me’. – Lila

The movie is informative and helps people to understand that God created Transexual people and they are one of our kind. All three relationships were bound by need, desires, and depency upon one another.

They were supposed to get to their grim end; In the climax of the film Nisim ends up disappearing- we are not sure why- leaving Gideon to search for him. Assaf, searching for a party after seeing Shaul to bed, finds himself in the midst of a manhunt for a terrorist and finally alone on the beach dressed in a mixure of female and soldier outfit. Then Shaul leaves the country by a boat in a final act of despair. Lila and Assaf are the only couple who finish the film together- they are also the only couple who was not aquainted at its beginning.

‘Glory’  is partly a documentary and partly fiction. Most of the elements in the film rely on actual facts and events of the characters, exaggerated and enhanced for dramatic impact. Overall, a well directed film, that laid a focus on the type of life of Arab transexual people lead in one hand, on the other it showed the grim life that is lead by Shaul and also the sudden disappeance of a man. Lila and Assaf prove that if you want to be happy, you need to live life in your own conditions.

In fact, ‘Glory’ is a must watch film, it puts up reality in front of you. Of all the characters I just loved Lila, this character tells everyone to be yourself. To rise above all odds, and care for happiness. The photography of the film was perfect, and every little flaw  was dominated by just one element – An exceptionally good story. As an Experimental film the director Assaf Hayut did a brilliant job.


Riya Saha is a Kolkata based writer, editor, journalist and cinephile. She has completed her masters with Journalism and Mass Communication from Calcutta University and currently working as a freelance journalist. Having a great interest in world cinema made Riya join Human Lab Corporation. She is passionate about setting goals and achieving them. She enjoys reading, writing, travelling, socializing and meeting people. She is also very fond of watching International movies.


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