Response screened Melting Away, a 2012 Israeli drama film written by Billy Ben-Moshe and directed by Doron Eran, and the first Israeli feature film to deal with parents coping with a transgender child.
In Melting Away, Shlomo Shapira discovers his teenage son Asaf likes to wear women's clothes. With the silent consent of his wife Galia, he decides to teach his son a lesson. On a rainy night Asaf returns to his parents' home after a party but they refuse to open the door, even though he cries. Shlomo tell Galia that after Asaf discovers the hard world outside he will come back home and will forget all of this nonsense, but he was wrong. Four years later, Shlomo is dying from cancer and Galia turns to Eytan, a private investigator to find her son and tell him about his father.
Following the screening of the film, a grandmother in the audience shared with Jewish parents, families and community members that she and her family are grappling with questions about whether or not their grandchild may someday identify as transgender; her 11-year-old granddaughter has connected with traditional masculine traits and behaviors since age four. More than 40 Jewish community members and parents participated in the post-viewing panel discussion of “Melting Away,” a film that addresses gender fluidity, sexual orientation, the coming out process, acceptance and family support.
Response’s Parent & Family Connection (PFC), a support and education group for Jewish parents of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and/or Queer (LGBTQ) individuals, family, professional staff, lay people, and community members, sponsored the film screening to raise awareness around LGBTQ topics. The program’s mission is to ensure the Jewish community fosters a safe and inclusive space for everyone, no matter how they identify. PFC runs events, discussions and film screenings such as “Melting Away,” and offers monthly support groups to advance its mission.