Out in the Dark – A Film set in Israel and Palestine

I watched this film a few days ago, but only just round to writing about it. Out in the Dark is set in Ramallah and Tel Aviv. It is a film about two gay men, one is a student from Ramallah and the other is a lawyer from Tel Aviv. They find each other and together they have to confront LGBT prejudice and the human consequences of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

It’s a very powerful film that puts being gay and living in that part of the world firmly under scrutiny. It is a fictional film, but it felt that it could easily be true, or that similar versions of it were true. The film presents and almost Romeo and Juliet premise of two people being from different sides at war, and they chose each other rather the sides that they should feel loyal to. Their solidarity is somewhat easier because neither side fully accepts them for who they are.

I enjoyed watching Out in the Dark, although it isn’t the most uplifting experience and quite a lot of it is dark. It made me think more about the very difficult situation between Israel and Palestine. This includes not just the political situation but also the conservative values held by many people in both cultures. One of the striking aspects is how comfortable everyone in the film seems to be with violence. There are scenes in this that would be built up massively and feel very tense in other films, but here it’s just part of the expectations of living in this situation. It’s a very good film that treats the context and the characters well, and met its aims. I am far more informed about the situation for gay people in Palestine and Israel than I was before watching.

 

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