Top positive review
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an ambitious film of a gay love across the Israeli-Palestiinian divide
on 12 March 2015
This is a very good Israeli film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which gets a very good balance between showing a region in turmoil and the lives of two private individuals who fall in love from opposite sides of the divide. The fact that they are gay adds yet more problems, especially for the Palestinian boy, Nimr, whose brother is involved in terrorist activities. The director wanted to keep the relationship in the foreground, and this comes across well; it is one of those films that does seem to be conscious of the need to balance the private and the social context to arrive at the truth. In fact it would be a good film to show for educational purposes, being admirably evenhanded and also showing tenderness between the two young men: a lawyer working for his father in Tel Aviv and a Psychology student coming from Ramallah to follow a course also in the Israeli capital. The love is quite convincing, but kept on a fairly tight rein as the plot moves tautly forward, involving the Israeli secret services and the plight of gay Palestinians who are hiding in Tel Aviv without a permit, Nimr not being alone in this predicament. It is shot in close-up quite often, and in dim lighting, but this is by no means a fault. The visuals are highly effective at suggesting two different worlds and the succour of love, the beauty of its discovery, and you feel that the nobility of the feeling doesn't let down its calling, but rather spurs the characters on to do their bravest. It is a slice of life well worth seeking out, which never has recourse to showing terrible violence in the way modern films often do, while letting you know what is happening clearly enough.