“THAT’S GILA, THAT’S ME”— My Friend Gila

that's Gila


My Friend Gila

Amos Lassen

All of us have had people in our lives that we will never forget—Gila Goldstein is one of those in my life. I met Gila early on in the years I spent in Israel and when I spent time in Tel Aviv we had a standing meeting for coffee every afternoon at one of the café’s across from the Tel Aviv city hall very near where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered. What I loved about meeting Gila was that nothing was sacred and we would sit and gossip about everyone and everything (unless Gila’s eyed discovered a good looking man—then she would say excuse me and disappear for about an hour and then return, her pockets filled with cash). But that was before she became famous in the movies.

 The film tells the fascinating life story of Gila Goldstein, one of the first Israeli transgender women and a Tel Aviv icon turned living legend. Gila was born as Avraham Goldstein in the 50′s in downtown Haifa.  She was  soccer player for Maccabi Haifa in her youth yet she always knew she was a woman. In her 20′s she moved to Tel Aviv and worked as a prostitute and exotic dancer. In 2003 she was proclaimed the community’s darling for her contribution and continued fight for social justice. The film, shot between 1997 and 2010, describes the world of a woman who is, despite many struggles, still happy, optimistic, and feeling forever young. The film brought back so many memories especially since I have not see Gila since 1989. It’s good to know she is still around.

Alon Weinstock directed this documentary that was released in 2010.