Paper Dolls Reviews
In 2000, in response to the second intifada, Israel close its borders to all Palestinian workers and soon the parliament passed a resolution to allow foreign workers to replace the Palestinians working in jobs Israelis did not want. This film follows the lives of one such group of migrant workers who are from the Philippines. This groups of individuals are physically male but psychologically female. In their spare time they perform as a "lady-boy" troupe called Paper Dolls.
The story starts as an exposition on the lives of a few members of the Paper Dolls who work as nurses or live-in nurses for older Israeli men. About a third of the way through, the movie becomes about the issue of immigration and how more developed countries allow in people from other countries and use them but give back nothing in return to secure the futures of the workers. I loved this part of the documentary more as it was the crux of the story, however, it came around too late.
One day you are needed and working to earn pay and the next day you become "illegal" because your visa is withdrawn. All your rights (even the right to receive a gift of a yogurt drink from a visiting friend) are gone and you are herded into detention centers like cattle to be transported to slaughter. In one telling frame in the documentary, a member of the Paper Dolls shows Heymann a newspaper article about the proposal to expand or build some airport (Tel Aviv?) using migrant workers who will be housed in an enclosed and secure camp city. The Paper Doll member says, does this not look like what the Nazis built for Jews?