The Wounded Lion – Ageism and Masculinity in the Israeli Film Industry

Shlomit Aharoni Lir, Liat Ayalon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


One of the intriguing issues connected to power relations in the world of cinema that has yet to be adequately explored is what has happened over the years concerning the dominance and privilege of masculinity as signifying preferred social status. This qualitative study explores this subject based on transcribed semi-structured interviews with 13 award-winning Israeli directors over the age of 55. The research examines two questions: How has the film industry changed its relation to leading, award-winning film directors as they grow older? And, what challenges confront the directors, in terms of their own self-perceptions? These questions capture the collisional intersection between hegemonic masculinity and ageism, because they examine the loss of power attributed to men in the film industry as they reach the second half of their lives. The findings led to the formation of a theoretical model of ageism within the cinematic industry, allowing for the dismantling of the different factors that create obstacles for directors as they get older. The four layers of the model are: arbitrary ageism, manifested in the demands of a rapidly changing industry in a changing world; passive ageism, expressed through encounters with negative attitudes; active ageism, reflected in preventing older directors from receiving funding and from screening their films; and self-ageism, manifested in the directors’ attitudes toward themselves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number756472
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
StatePublished - 21 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology (fund no. 3-15664) and GENDER NET PLUS – GENDER-NET Plus has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. (741874).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Aharoni Lir and Ayalon.


  • ageism
  • ageism and masculinity
  • aging discrimination
  • aging stereotypes
  • discrimination
  • film industry


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