Complex, Mysterious and Interesting
Director Je’Jae Daniels “Mx Enigma” explores the intersection between his Orthodox Jewish background and his gender identity, and how one suppresses the other in this documentary.
Daniels explains the title in this way— “Enigma means complex, mysterious, and interesting. Together I am embracing my identity and telling myself it’s ok to be certain with the uncertain, which became my artist name as well and a message to all people regardless of gender.”
‘Mx. Enigma’ is one of the films produced at the Reel Works Lab, an intensive 20-week, after-school workshop that matches teens one-on-one with professional filmmaker-mentors to create short documentaries about their lives and communities. Reel Works, production company partner of HBO, provides free filmmaking programs for NYC Youth. Je’Jae (Jay) Daniels’ uses the pronouns they/them to say that he has more than one identity. The short documentary about their gender identity will be broadcasted soon on HBO Live. It deals with the way
how gay men’s natural attractions to each other can be considered a sin by the community that one was born into. “I made it as part of my graduation project at The Met Film School,” Brenner explains. “I chose the topic because it is a subject very close to my heart and I wanted to investigate how people like me felt within our communities.” “I wanted to gain an insight into what people like me felt and also people that had a negative view on the way we were naturally born,” he adds.
Brenner interviews his own and asks her whether she always knew that he was gay. He also interviews other Jewish LGBT people who, like him, don’t want to give up either of the two worlds they belong to, worlds that some would say contradict each other.