Yossi & Jagger (or Yossi and Jagger, Hebrew: יוסי וג’אגר, romanised: Yossi VeJagger) is a 2002 Israeli romantic drama film directed by Eytan Fox about soldiers at the Israel-Lebanon border who try to find some peace and solace from the daily routine of war.
The film has a sequel entitled Yossi (Hebrew: הסיפור של יוסי Yossi’s Story) released in 2012 that picks up the story a number of years after the events in the first film.
Yossi (Ohad Knoller) commands a company of soldiers in the snow-covered mountains near Lebanon. In secrecy, he leads a passionate romantic relationship with his second-in-command officer, Lior (Yehuda Levi), who is called Jagger by everyone for his rock star-like handsomeness and his lip-syncing Mick Jagger. The pair, Yossi and Jagger, lead a loving, yet secret life together, venturing off to be alone and open with one another.
One day, a colonel (Sharon Raginiano) arrives at the base with two female soldiers, one of whom he immediately sleeps with in the bunker. The other one, Yaeli (Aya Koren, credited as Aya Steinovitz), is very interested in Jagger, while she refuses the sexual advances of Ofir (Asi Cohen), who tries to make clear to her that Jagger is not particularly interested in her.
The colonel is there to supervise a night-time ambush, of which Yossi is resentful because of the full moon, and also because he fears for his soldiers’ safety. And indeed Jagger is fatally injured that night, dying in the arms of his lover, who only now is able to articulate his love for him.
At the funeral reception at Jagger’s parents’ house, Jagger’s mother mistakes Yaeli for his girlfriend. She laments that she knew very little about her son, including his favourite song, which only Yossi is able to tell her was “Bo” sung by Rita. The song was also sung by Ivri Lider.
- Ohad Knoller as Yossi.
- Yehuda Levi as Lior Amichai ‘Jagger’.
- Assi Cohen as Ophir.
- Aya Steinovitz as Yaeli.
- Hani Furstenberg as Goldie.
- Sharon Raginiano as The Colonel.
- Yuval Semo as Psycho.
- Yaniv Moyal as Samoncha.
- Hanan Savyon as Adams.
- Erez Kahana as Yaniv the Cook.
- Shmulik Bernheimer as Shmuel ‘Shmulik’ Amichai.
- Yael Pearl as Varda Amichai.
Although Yossi & Jagger originally did not receive any support from the Israeli military during its production, its popularity proved high enough with Israeli citizens that military bases in the country began to show screenings later on.
The film received positive reviews from critics.
- Actor Ohad Knoller won the award for best actor at the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival, for his portrayal of Yossi.
Production & Filming Details
- Eytan Fox.
- Amir Harel … producer.
- Gal Uchovsky … producer.
- Avner Bernheimer.
- Ivri Lider.
- Yaron Scharf.
- Yosef Grunfeld.
- Lama Films.
- Israel Cable Programming (ICP).
- Lama Productions.
- 1More Film (Netherlands) (theatrical).
- Grimace (2005) (France) (theatrical).
- Dekkoo Films (2015) (USA) (video) (streaming).
- Divisa Home Video (2005-2013) (Spain) (DVD).
- Metacinema (all media).
- Optimale (2005) (France) (DVD).
- Strand Releasing (2003) (USA) (all media).
- Release Date: 01 August 2002 (Israel).
- Running time: 65 minutes.
- Rating: 15.
- Country: Israel.
- Language: Hebrew.