Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival

A debate about the LGBTI-culture for the documentary film “Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life”

21 September, Bitola – Last night’s screening of the documentary film Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life by Tomer Heymann, was the occasion for the talk about the LGBTI-culture, which was held today at noon at the Magaza in Bitola. The participants in the debate were Uranija Pirovska, executive director of the Helsinki Committee, and Kocho Andonovski, director of the LGBTI Support Center, and the talk was moderated by the journalist Borjan Jovanovski. The story of Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life treats the suppressed sexuality of the members of the gay community.

Jovanovski started the talk with his experience in the making of a documentary in Madrid, Spain, which is on the subject of tolerance in the Spanish society, dominantly catholic and conservative, towards the members of the gay community. He also mentioned that the “Manaki Brothers” festival was opened with the film Pain and Glory, whose author Pedro Almodovar often refers to this subject in his films.

Kocho Andonovski connected the fear of violence, as a main subject in the film, with the current campaign “Now I Speak”, where women confess their experience with sexual violence to which they have been subjected. He pointed out that the relations in the family and at school are the main generators of the fear from violence, verbal and physical, towards the members of the gay community.

-The members of the gay community often look for an escape in drugs and alcohol because of the rejection from their parents and classmates. Hence, a large number of gay people develop and live two identities, Andonovski says.

Uranija Pirovska reminded her arrival at the Helsinki Committee in 2012, when not all segments of the life of the LGBTI-community were known to her, the brutality to which its members were subjected and the rejection from their families.

-The LGBTI-culture here in that period was invisible, even though it existed, and it started to emancipate. We opened the LGBTI Legal Support Center and a safe house which takes care of the victims. This year, we also organized the Pride Parade, Pirovska pointed out.