KT: As a film-maker, when/what was your first encounter with gender-nonconforming subjects? Your powerful project ‘BOI – Song of a Wanderer’ is a story about the life of Nitzan Krimsky and his transition from girl to boi. How did you connect with Nitzan? What caught your attention in the first place?
AMB: I started filming Nitzan as a girl in order to document the living conditions of individuals in countries where political and religious issues made survival difficult.
I encountered Nitzan in 2003, a highly intelligent, good-looking girl in her twenties, living in Tel Aviv, who wanted to escape the stress, terror and military environment in Israel. However, later it became the story of an inner struggle. Only after filming for many years, it was around 2010 that Nitzan and I discovered that she was not happy being a girl. Our story of the film became the story of a girl who wanted to be a ‘BOI’. That was my first encounter with a gender-nonconforming subject.
KT: ‘BOI’ is a compelling documentary film project along with a photo-book and an exhibition. What do you like about the medium of film/photography in a book format?
AMB: One thing was constant while shooting the film, wherever Nitzan goes, she should take portraits of herself to keep up with her feelings. There was no escape to make the film without photography. I finished the film, promising to make a book, in order to give it back to Nitzan. Hence the screenshots of the film were part of the book.
KT: You have been working on this intimate and personal project for over 12 years which includes a mix of different layers of striking self-portraits by Nitzan, still from the documentary and email exchanges representing a quest for her inner struggle. What according to you needs to be celebrated/highlighted more about her strong conflicting emotions?
AMB: For me most important emotion that needs to be celebrated is Nitzan’s journey to find out who s(he) really is. Not only about being a transgender but an individual who dared to choose, to take charge of her/his own existence.
KT: ‘BOI – Song of a Wanderer’ is a celebration of Nitzan’s personal journey of identity. What did you do you want to achieve with your powerful project in the end?
AMB: And ever since she let go of her past, (s)he found new beginning in her life. This quote from Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando holds true for Nitzan and for me and my film – ‘Let go of your past and new things will happen’. I want people to see this project as everybody’s journey and not be limited to trans-people only.