The acclaimed documentary Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life is generating pointed discussion about the drug-fuelled life of the iconic pornstar, which is starkly shown on-screen. Boyz critic Jack Cline caught up with the film’s director Tomer Heymann to find out more…
How did you get involved in this project?
When I met Jonathan, I found out that his real name is Jonathan Elkhana Langer. Jonathan Agassi is a creation. I felt incredible strong energy from him, and he was excited to share his story.
He’s naked a lot in the film, but his honesty feels even more intimate.
We developed a relationship as friends, not only as director and subject. That made him feel more comfortable with exposing himself emotionally too. Jonathan is like the white rabbit in Wonderland: we follow him down the hole as he takes us deep inside the porn world. I entered holding my camera tight in front of me! We went through so many feelings, highs and lows, fears and worries, and through all that with love too.
Yes, there are warm scenes with his family in between the sex shows and drug use.
The film might be seen as controversial because it is explicit, uncensored and intimate. In the editing room, he pushed me to include the rough parts. I joined Jonathan at hardcore parties, witnessing crazy sex, intense situations between Jonathan and other men. At one point, it is almost like he is merging with his image as a pornstar and he abandons his well-being. The drugs were 24/7, and I was there through it all! But even though the movie is heavy and dark, I hope it still conveys the love I have for Jonathan and his mother, and the love they have for each other.
It definitely does. It’s clear that drugs and prostitution don’t define him.
Many movies talk about how drugs, porn and prostitution disrupt lives. But we wanted to talk about it truthfully without judgement, because it’s more complex than that. Now Jonathan is grateful for the chance to share his story and to look back at it with a clear mind and heart. His story goes on, and I am sure that now he’s writing it with more responsibility and care.