1: Film stills, "Yentl," dir. Barbra Streisand, 1983.
The Yentl story hinges on Yentl’s ability to “pass” as a man. In order to enter yeshive (Jewish seminary), Anshel (the masculine name that Yentl takes) must be perceived as male.
Suggested Activity: Show still photos from Streisand’s film to students. Discuss how the transition from female to male is revealed in the story and in the movie. Is Streisand “convincing” as a male? Why or why not? Discuss cross-dressing from male to female or female to male. Students may be familiar with racial passing. Cross-dressing, too, can be a form of passing. Have students consider other forms of passing and why people might wish to alter their outward identities. What is gained or lost in passing?
Source: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. 1983. Yentl. Images. Accessed October 25, 2018. IMDb.com, Inc.