The NCGLFF film, Out in the Dark, was one of the ones that I saw that Bob chose to pass on. He's seeing the first one that I passed on, First Period, on Monday.
Synopsis: Taking great risks, a handsome young Palestinian named Nimr sneaks out of his home, climbs over a fence, and dodges police just to go to a gay bar in Tel Aviv. There, he meets a dreamy lawyer named Roy and the two hit it off.
Nimr, studying for his masters degree in psychology, has a partial student visa for Israel and hopes eventually to continue at a university in the U.S. Roy has it a bit easier, able to be openly-gay with friends and family and not gazed-on with suspicion by others. Together, they try to build a relationship, but the hazards of where they live and where they are from threaten their happiness.
Out in the Dark dramatically conveys the difficulties of a cross-cultural love affair when the cultures are virtually at war with each other. When Nimr’s family finds out about Roy, the tension ratchets even higher and the lovers must consider desperate measures in order to stay together.
My thoughts and observations about this movie:
- This movie was intense. It was in Hebrew and Arabic, with English subtitles.
- I found both of the leading men adorable and sexy as hell, particularly "Nimr," the dark-haired one.
- Good stories deal with a lot of conflict, and there was no shortage of it in this movie.
- Some of the themes explored in this film included:
- Cross-cultural love
- Prejudice, on a couple of levels—with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as between, well, everyone and the gays
- Family acknowledgment and acceptance of homosexuality
- Organized crime
- Political connections, entitlement, and privilege
- I thought this was going to be a love story, but in the end, I'd have to characterize it as a thriller, which was fine.
- Although, I'm a huge fan of movies not having "Hollywood endings," and rest assured this one didn't, I'd characterize its ending as being just a little too abrupt.
And now for something completely different—Boy Culture.
Synopsis: A successful male escort describes in a series of confessions his tangled romantic relationships with his two roommates and an older, enigmatic male client.
My thoughts and observation about this movie:
- Of course, juxtaposed with Out in the Dark, this movie was pure fluff. (Complete aside: I spent a modicum of time considering whether to use the proposition with, to, or against after the word juxtaposed in this list item.)
- To be completely superficial for a moment, I think Derek Magyar, who played "X," is hot, hot hot. I'd never heard of him before this movie.
- Themes explored, albeit lightly, in this film included:
- The ability to separate sex from love
- Friends (roommates) and lovers
- Unrequited love
- Living a closeted live
- Holding back (emotions)
- First loves