Press review for I Shot My Love
Gabriel MAFFRE's blog

"Que sera sera..." Quite simply!

by Gabriel MAFFRE

Tomer Heymann, guest of the festival "Des Images aux mots" was presenting his most personal documentary film on Thursday 10th February in Toulouse - France.

He greets you as if he always knew you. Modest and friendly verve. First contact is fraternal. Tomer Heymann is one of those people who put you at ease from the first meeting. Seductive and simple. Exchange-thirsty, the israeli director does not hesitate to ditch a screening in Germany in order to discover his french audience. Also to honor the national pre-release of his documentary film "I Shot My Love".

Toulouse. Still he doesn't know when but he will come back as a tourist with his fiancé. "Andreas loves cities of this size, with as much cultural energy!" Andreas, beautiful Apollo he met at the Berghain Panorama Bar, after the official premiere of Paper Dolls at the Berlinale 2006. Andreas, blond dancer, bleu eyes, naturally heartbreaking, far away from the gay stereotypes, with his touching frankness. Sex date that moved into a relationship of love and friendship. He is the muse that Tomer, whose grand-father escaped from Nazis, starts to shoot in a hotel room, inflicting him a tactless questioning about the compatibility of his origins with their relationship. "It was stupid! I feel ashamed. I regret those insistent questions about the Nazis" the filmmaker now in his forties blames on himself. Insistent. As is his camera, insistent, and intrusive.

Melting pot of feelings

Born in 1970 in the small village of Kfar Yedidia, this moving-picture-freak accumulates series and documentaries very inspired by his personal life and his entourage. Counting about fifteen films, his production company built with one of his brothers, send him to receive awards in film festivals around the whole world. Taiwan, Lisbon, Moscow ... By itself I Shot My Love is presented in no less than twelve countries. Mr. Heymann travels, moving from hotel to hotel, a mini laptop under his arm. Without wishing to be rude he will suspend the conversation to check emails, book a flight. And, just as relaxed as before, will resume his narrative. He will confide to you his passion for football, an outlet for his overflowing energy (" Don't bother me when i am playing football! "). He will let you the address of the cafe Orna & Ella in Tel Aviv, where he used to work several years as a waiter, and where you'll find the "best orange pancakes of Israel". With shinning eyes, he will evoke his journeys in vespa in the secret and narrow streets of the capital with Andreas who he thought "would be on his side for two weeks and who eventually stayed four years". And then comes the road embellished by an unforgettable sunset, the evenings of shabbat, when driving with his lover towards the "motherland". Noa Heymann, her overweight and cuisine. The mother, so open-minded and so israeli. The confidant that the oedipus delays detaching from, and centerpiece of the triangular relationship, backdrop for the filmmaking of her prodigal son.

Tomer testifies. Listen and learn. Each encounter is a new discovery without tiring. "Accompanying my films makes them more alive for me. I enrich myself with exchanges about our lives, our experiences, our emotions. The day when I get bored, I'll stop all this...". Spontaneous, he rejects intellectualism, acknowledges his mistakes, some tactlessness in his productions. He shoots when he wants to shoot, without asking himself too much questions. "I have not tried to do something too defined. If you try to understand the whys and wherefores then it means you do not follow with your heart." He shoots by instinct. He involves himself and composes. Even if it is shocking. He lacks decency when his protagonists beg him to turn off his camera. Andreas, transparent, infatuated with truth, a truth concealed by a pedophile priest and a too christian family during his childhood. The young German teaches the cameraman to stop playing. Andreas refuses to be an actor, he prefers his role as a partner. I Shot My Love deals obviously with religion. Tomer, convinced that "the Jews should stop positioning themselves as victims", does not hesitate to evoke "a madness that destroys all life. I feel hatred for what is committed in the name of religion. In the street, i want to meet with muslims, jews, bouddhists... I support intercultural mix."

I Shot My Love. As "I filmed my love" or "I fire at my love", at the risk of losing him. Tomer and Andreas were separated and put back together. Between two cups of green tea, the israeli shows off, protects himself: "I do not know what the future reserves to our couple. Nobody can foretell. Que sera sera!" I Shot My Love, personal and universal love story, touching, remains at the end a lesson. Built upon certitudes and questionings. Universally simple. An experience, a sharing in which the clash of cultures heightens passion.

>> Read the original article at Gabriel MAFFRE's blog