Plans to hold 2006’s World Pride celebration and march in Jerusalem are met with political and religious opposition in “Jerusalem Is Proud to Present.” Dramatic conflict pits the city’s tolerance-oriented Open House against fundamentalist and superstitious critics who fear potential “homosexualization of the Middle East.” DV-shot docu, which won the nonfiction prize at Outfest, makes no effort to educate the narrow-minded; instead, it serves gay-friendly auds worldwide as a record of unfair treatment. With the right publicity, hot-button pic could ignite enough interest for a modest theatrical run.
Though the demonstration (which promised to avoid the “nudity and provocation” of other international gay-pride gatherings) was to be more symbolic than anything, the event’s opponents far outnumbered its passionate organizers, forcing compromises through threats of physical violence. A silent witness throughout the uphill planning process, director Nitzan Gilady presents an insider’s view of the many obstacles faced, from city hall, where Jerusalem’s mayor and conservative council refuse to acknowledge any discussion, to the streets, where agitprop pamplets and actual rioting lead local police to revoke their support. It’s blood-boiling stuff, offset by encouraging signs of progress in some corners.