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Say Amen !

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Say Amen !

(Doc., 65 min., DVD/BETA, 2005)
  • Written & Directed by: David Deri
  • Produced by: David Deri& Ruth Lev Ari


In 1962, Mazud and Aliza Deri left Morocco to start a new life in Yerucham . Here they built a home, raising a large closely-knit family with a strong faith and unalterable rules and rituals. Their youngest son David, the director of this documentary, does not fit in with their conservative notions about life, however. They find the fact that he's homosexual entirely unacceptable. Stubbornly, the members of the Deri family wait for him to see the light and hope for the day when he will finally introduce them to his bride. David visits them during important religious holidays and at other occasions, capturing a very vivid dialogue on the subject of his sexual orientation. For the most part, David hides behind the camera, which for him and the audience becomes a gateway into his inner self. He makes few comments and allows the audience to share his fate and become better acquainted with his family and its attitudes, provoking general questions about contemporary society. The film examines what it means to be different, and the consequences, exploring the relationship between hypocrisy and truth, reason and emotion, blind faith and freedom of choice. It is also an insight into the nature of any closed community or any kind of conservatism. Beneath the joyful heartbeat of family life there's always a note of melancholy. David's personal search for happiness inevitably leads to his exclusion from the community that means so much to him.



  • Best Pitch, – The 2004 International Co-Productions Forum, Israel


  • Three Continents International Film Festival, India, 2007
  • Cork International Film Festival, Ireland, 2006
  • Leeds International Film Festival, UK, 2006
  • Lisbon Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Portugal, 2006
  • NewFest 2006 - New York LGBT Film Festival, USA, 2006
  • Turin International G & L Film Festival, Italy, 2006
  • One World International Human Rights Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic, 2006
  • The Israeli Film Festival in Paris, France, 2006
  • Reeling - The 24th Chicago G & L International Film Festival, USA, 2005
  • DokumentArt International Documentary Film Festival, Germany, 2005
  • VideoLisboa International Documentary Film Festival, Portugal, 2005
  • HotDocs International Documentary Film Festival, Canada, 2005
  • DocAviv International Documentary Film Festival, Israel, 2005


  • University of Denver
  • Library of Congress

Press and Links

“A new and very successful release is the miraculous documentary film from director David Deri, called "Say Amen!". Deri, born and raised in Yerucham by very traditional, elderly parents alongside nine siblings, some of whom are religious fanatics, documents the story of his coming out of the closet in a way which smashes through almost all known stereotypes. This is a wondrous film. Sensitive and heart-warming. A must-see,not just for all those who cite their parents as an excuse for their remaining in the closet.”
Gal Ochovski, Time Out, September 2005

“A deeply personal documentary, Say Amen explores what it means to be gay in an Orthodox, procreation-driven family. David is the youngest of ten close-knit, Moroccan-Israeli siblings with very religious, culturally-conservative parents. While the other nine Deri children have all extended the family tree by marrying and having kids of their own, David, at twenty-nine, still hasn’t brought home a girlfriend, inspiring his family to constant nagging. This confessional film follows David as he takes small steps, slowly gathering courage, to ask for acceptance from the people whom he’s closest.”

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