Title – ‘Out In The Dark‘
Director – Michael Mayer
Starring – Nicholas Jacob, Michael Aloni, Jameel Khouri, Alon Pdut
Release Date – September 27, 2013
Title – ‘Victory Day‘
Director – Alina Rudnitskaya
Release Date – 2014
Happy #Covfefe day everyone! Today I want to feature two films that highlight the struggle of Non-U.S. attitudes towards LGBTQ rights and the people that have the bravery to stand up for love.
The short documentary ‘Victory Day‘ is a really touching look inside the lives of 6 LGBTQ couples living in Russia – a country that has time and time again refused to accept LGBTQ people as normal citizens. While homosexual sex was decriminalized in 1993, there are still no laws on the books that prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ citizens, meaning you can still be fired from a job or kicked out of your apartment. It’s also illegal to expose children to anything other than heterosexual relationships in books, movies, textbooks, etc. Since that law passed in 2013 (here we call it the ‘gay propaganda law’) there have been numerous arrests and censoring of Hollywood movies like the new ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
The short film goes into depth with the 6 couples about how they got together, their struggles with family, friends, and co-workers, and their views on the current political climate. The beginning of the short is definitely a bit chilling with the juxtaposition of Russia’s Victory Day celebrations consisting of tanks and soldiers with discussions of how long the couples have been dating, but overall it’s an uplifting journey because of the bravery of all 6 couples. If you’re curious about how normal LGBTQ people live their lives in Russia this is the doc for you.
Now we shift from Russia to Israel, a country that is unique in the Middle East for being very accepting of LGBTQ people. While you can’t marry inside the country you can be married somewhere else and then Israel will recognize that marriage. You can also adopt and anti-discrimination policies have been passed. However ‘Out in the Dark‘ decides to focus on the interplay of sexuality and politics between Israel and Palestine. The movie has a great combination of sexiness, political intrigue, and thrilling action.
The movie focuses on a cute, young Palestinian named Nimer. He studies Psychology and travels to Tel Aviv for his studies. His friend Mustafa introduces him one night to a ridiculously sexy Israeli lawyer named Roy. The differences between them are numerous – wealth, privilege, and citizenship to name just a few. But as in all the great romance movies they fall in love despite everything. Unfortunately things get complicated once
Mustafa gets caught by his Palestinian friends for being queer which then suggests Nimer might be queer as well. One of the most intriguing/disturbing facts about this film is it’s portrayal of how crossing over a simple border can completely change how society views you. You can be celebrated in Israel, but killed in Palestine.
However all seriousness aside, ‘Out in the Dark‘ is a stunner of a film. It played at almost every single LGBTQ film festival and has gotten rave reviews. It’s packed full of romance and action and it’s just an awesome film. Watch it tonight!
Watch ’em with: Your friends who have no clue what’s happening outside of Rupaul’s Drag Race.
Mix it with: Russian Vodka.