‘Lady Titi’ Shatters Stereotypes About Israel’s Ethiopian Community

Tzvika Iskais (L), who plays the character Worko/Titi, and Elsa Almo (R), who plays Melesech, on the set of the movie Lady Titi. (Credit: Elad Wexler)

Israel’s English-subtitled premier of Lady Titi, the country’s first commercial film about the Ethiopian community and the first to be directed by an Ethiopian-Israeli, was recently held in Jerusalem. Nominated for three Ophirs, Israel’s version of the Oscars, the movie was released to theaters across the nation.

Lady Titi tells the story of a young man named Worko, an Ethiopian-Israeli trying to make it in the music industry. Worko flees to his mother’s home in Bat Yam after failing to repay a loan he took from an unsavory gang in order to finance a music video. To hide, he transforms himself into a woman named Titi and lands a job with a female-empowerment workshop at the local Ethiopian community center.

Producer Elad Wexler and his wife, director Esti Almo-Wexler, established Abayenesh Productions, which produced Lady Titi, in part so that Ethiopian-Israelis could be better represented in films. There are some 144,000 Ethiopian-Israelis, many of whom were brought to the Jewish state in the 1980s and 1990s during secret missions such as Operation Moses and Operation Solomon.

Read more at: The Media Line