21 October 2012

Out in the Dark (Michael Mayer, 2012, Israel/Palestine)

Yet again the sociopolitical situation in Israel is dramatized through a gay love story. An ambitious Palestinian university student from Ramallah falls in love with an Israeli lawyer from Tel Aviv. Complications ensue. This is an entertaining, if not terribly original film. I guess what makes it more successful than, say, The Bubble, is that it's more upfront about the seriousness of the political situation, probably because that other film is more of a comedy. You basically have the Palestinian family on one side, all terrorists and gangsters who have nother better to do, it seems, than persecute gay people and stockpile weapons. On the other hand, you have the cruel Israeli security service, who according to this film blackmail gay Palestinians seeking refuge in Israel and then betray them when they are no longer useful. The director claimed at the screening that the events in the film are based on real events that happened to various people they interviewed in the gay underworld of Tel Aviv. If that's the case, Israel seems far less progressive than it's given credit for being. My boyfriend's stories about visiting Israel have always left me with a desire to visit the place, even though he, like most young American Jewish people I know, isn't particularly fond of the place. After seeing this movie, I'm not sure I really would want to visit the place anymore. I wonder if it would make much of a difference in the middle east if their cities were more colorful. They're so stark looking.
It's entertaining and I'm glad enough that I watched it, but, I guess I wouldn't say it's extremely well made. I liked the actors.

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