THE PROMISED LAND

The Clothes Stay On In Michael Lucas’s New Doc, “Undressing Israel”

Porn mogul Michael Lucas has hardly been shy about his staunch support for Israel, from lashing out at “Islamist culture” in the Advocate to filming the first gay porn in the Jewish homeland.

Now he’s self-funded the new documentary, Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land, in which he explores Israel’s thriving gay community and works to dispel myths about the Land of Milk and Honey.

“There is much more to the Jewish state than missiles and prayers,” Lucas notes in the press materials.

Lucas teamed up with documentarian Yariv Mozer, who previously directed the gay-Palestinian doc Invisible Men, on this film. They interview a variety of men (and, yes, it’s only gay men who are featured), including a gay soldier, a drag queen, a young Arab-Israeli journalist, two dads raising a family, and an out member of Israel’s parliament.

“The media is only interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Lucas told Queerty. “I thought that this film would be incredibly important for Israel and the first of its kind. I was motivated by the country and its openness, friendliness and tolerance towards minorities.”

He covered the doc’s $100,000 budget himself and describes Mozer as a longtime friend and his first choice to co-produce and direct. “I believe in this project and the importance of it,” says Lucas, who  became an Israeli citizen in 2009. “I hope that it will help bring more gay tourists to Israel.”

Both Lucas and Mozer have been accused of pinkwashing—promoting Israel’s gay-rights record in order to downplay human-rights abuses against Palestinians. Whether or not Undressing Israel will draw similar criticism will have to wait until the film premieres at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival in February.