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2022 - Re-Edited Version | 100 MIN.
HEBREW/ENGLISH
Germany, Israel

Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life press

Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life

Jonathan Agassi is one of the world's most successful gay porn stars. This is a rare and intimate look at the world of porn and escorting, as well as on a unique relationship between a mother and son.

press

“Heymann situates the notion of celebrity in the context of not just performance and gay culture but also familial intimacy, with striking detail… “Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life” achieves an impressive level of formal closeness with its subject while maintaining a critical distance from him, following his personal moments closely without over-sentimentalizing interactions”

Kyle Turner, New York Times

 

★★★★★

“It’s provocative, funny and very human”

Paul Salt, Screen Mayhem

★★★★★

“Heymann – the heir apparent to Frederick Wiseman”

Randy Shulman, Metro Weekly

 

“It’s an unforgettable film”

Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

 

“One of the hottest docs of the year”

Huck Magazine, UK

 

“Emotional and heartbreaking”

Liselotte Vanophem, OC Movie Reviews

 

“Unnervingly intimate footage, sensitive and compassionate”

Alex Godfrey, The Guardian

 

“A quantum leap in the work of one of Israel’s leading documentary filmmakers”

Uri Klein, Haaretz

 

“A bold, impressive and exciting cinematic puzzle” 

Avner Shavit, walla.co.il

 

“Certainly will not leave you indifferent” 

doctalk.co.il

 

“The most extreme and daring documentary you will ever see”

Gili Izikovich, Niv Adas, Haaretz

 

“A rewarding film experience.”

TimeOut Israel

 

 

 


PRESS LINKS

The New York Times: “‘Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life’ Review: A Gay Porn Star Is Born” (English)

The Guardian: “Former porn star Jonathan Agassi: I’d be dead if they hadn’t made a documentary about me” (English)

OC Movie Reviews: “An Uncensored, Vibrant And Emotional Documentary” (English)

Screen Mayhem: “Review: Porn, Drugs and Mum” (English)

Eye For Film: “The non-fiction highlights of this year’s NewFest” (English)

Haaretz: “Up Close and Personal With an Israeli Gay Porn Star” Film review (Israel, English)

 

 

synopsis

Jonathan Agassi is one of the most successful gay porn stars in the world. His rise to fame was stratospheric and revolutionized the industry. He built his fame and success on what is considered a global taboo, but in fact pleases millions. The film offers a rare and intimate look at the world of gay porn and escorting, and presents a unique relationship between a mother and son, who courageously redefine familiar family concepts.

credits

Director: TOMER HEYMANN
Producers: BARAK HEYMANN, TOMER HEYMANN
Cinematography: ADDIE REISS
Additional Cinematography: TOMER HEYMANN, JONATHAN AGASSI
Editing: TAL RABINER, ALEX KHOSID
Sound designer: ITZIK COHEN
Original Score: MATAN DASKAL, ALBERTO SHWARTZ
Theme song: INBAR HEYMAN

With the support of :
CHANNEL 8 – ISRAEL/MAKOR FOUNDATION FOR ISRAELI FILMS

press

“Heymann situates the notion of celebrity in the context of not just performance and gay culture but also familial intimacy, with striking detail… “Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life” achieves an impressive level of formal closeness with its subject while maintaining a critical distance from him, following his personal moments closely without over-sentimentalizing interactions”

Kyle Turner, New York Times

 

★★★★★

“It’s provocative, funny and very human”

Paul Salt, Screen Mayhem

★★★★★

“Heymann – the heir apparent to Frederick Wiseman”

Randy Shulman, Metro Weekly

 

“It’s an unforgettable film”

Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film

 

“One of the hottest docs of the year”

Huck Magazine, UK

 

“Emotional and heartbreaking”

Liselotte Vanophem, OC Movie Reviews

 

“Unnervingly intimate footage, sensitive and compassionate”

Alex Godfrey, The Guardian

 

“A quantum leap in the work of one of Israel’s leading documentary filmmakers”

Uri Klein, Haaretz

 

“A bold, impressive and exciting cinematic puzzle” 

Avner Shavit, walla.co.il

 

“Certainly will not leave you indifferent” 

doctalk.co.il

 

“The most extreme and daring documentary you will ever see”

Gili Izikovich, Niv Adas, Haaretz

 

“A rewarding film experience.”

TimeOut Israel

 

 

 


PRESS LINKS

The New York Times: “‘Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life’ Review: A Gay Porn Star Is Born” (English)

The Guardian: “Former porn star Jonathan Agassi: I’d be dead if they hadn’t made a documentary about me” (English)

OC Movie Reviews: “An Uncensored, Vibrant And Emotional Documentary” (English)

Screen Mayhem: “Review: Porn, Drugs and Mum” (English)

Eye For Film: “The non-fiction highlights of this year’s NewFest” (English)

Haaretz: “Up Close and Personal With an Israeli Gay Porn Star” Film review (Israel, English)

 

 

FESTIVALS & AWARDS

Best Documentary and Best Editing – Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel

Special Jury Award – Atlanta Film Festival

Best Documentary – Outview Film Festival

Best Director Award – Qfest Houston, USA

Best Feature Documentary – GAZE International LGBT Film Festival Dublin, Ireland

Grand Prix Award  – Jewish Motifs International Film Festival, Poland

Ophir Academy Award for Best Documentary (Israeli Oscar)

Jury Award for Best Documentary  Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival

Best Documentary – Santo Domingo Outfest

Audience Award  – KOQIX INDIE Film Festival, Italy


  • IDFA
  • CPH:DOX
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
  • BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival
  • Dublin International Film Festival
  • Vilnius International Film Festival
  • Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival
  • Doc Edge
  • Biografilm Festival
  • Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
  • Helsinki International Film Festival Love & Anarchy
  • NewFest New York LGBT Film Festival
  • Kassel Dok
Director's Notes

“I met Jonathan Agassi on the streets of Tel Aviv. Our paths crossed here and there, and I felt envious whenever I saw him – envious of his freedom, of his wild choices. I insisted on continuing seeing him. When I approached him because something about him intrigued me, he smiled his charming, crafty smile and said, “Pleased to meet you, my name is Yonatan Langer”.

From the little information I had about him, I knew that he was an internationally successful porn star, that he had millions of fans all over the world, and that the porn films he starred in were sold and watched by millions of people that were dying to meet him.

Finally, when he agreed to meet me, he adamantly refused to be the hero of the film, and said that his mother would never agree to be exposed in a film that told the whole truth. I found out that he was a giant star, admired all over the world, and that his films were sold by the millions.

When I saw him again on one of his visits to Israel, as his career in Berlin was skyrocketing, and asked his consent to meet his mother, he said, “If you can convince my mother to be in the film, I’m in too”. He added, “My name is not Yonatan anymore. My name is Jonathan Agassi, and you should know that this persona – Jonathan Agassi – saved my life”.”

– Tomer Heymann

(Photo by Mari Laukkanen)

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