Out in the Dark
israel, United States | 96 mins | Arabic, Hebrew
When sweet and handsome grad student Nimr sneaks away from his Palestinian family one night to dance with friends in a Tel Aviv gay nightclub, he knows he is courting danger on both sides of the separation barrier. His sexuality must be kept hidden at home, while his nationality makes him illegal in Israel. The stakes get perilously higher when he meets Roy, a charming Tel Aviv lawyer, and they begin a secret, ardent cross-border affair. First-time feature director Michael Mayer sets his taut drama of dangerous love against a backdrop of increasingly hostile relations between Israelis and Palestinians, but the politics never upstage the heartfelt human story of two likeable young men trying to forge a connection against all odds. Living inside the bubble of gay-friendly Tel Aviv, Roy is blithely confident he can “fix everything” with a few phone calls to a human rights attorney. But the machinery of legal protections may not move quickly enough to shield Nimr from the suspicions of his militant brother or from the pressures of the tenacious Israeli security police. As the tension mounts, both men must confront what they are willing to sacrifice to overcome their differences. In politics as well as in love, it is the burning, unresolved question.