Is Israel really the best place in the world to be gay? And is Judaism the one mainstream religion that accepts homosexuality? Meet Simon, a gay Catholic man from the West of Ireland on a quest to find out.
Simon has never truly felt accepted by his own church, a problem that Matthew, his Jewish boyfriend from North London, has never had to face. Simon begins to wonder if the grass may be greener, and considers converting. He starts with a trip to the local Rabbi where they chat, among other things, about getting ‘snipped’, but Simon is itching to get to Judaism’s homeland: Israel. He hops on a plane and first hits the streets of Tel Aviv, ‘the gayest city on Earth’, where he meets gay people from all walks of life, including gay soldiers in the IDF. Then he heads to Jerusalem, where the story here is very different. Extreme views towards homosexuality are rife and Simon encounters this at an uncomfortably close proximity. Then, it’s crunch time. Faced with the facts, will Simon jump ship and become Jewish?
A deeply personal, cross-cultural documentary from filmmaker (and subject) Simon Atkins, My Big Gay Jewish Conversion looks at love, relationship and religion with an intelligent and introspective eye.
Brothers-in-law Sasha, a meek farmhand, and Dima, a policeman, have always had a fraught relationship. When the two set out on a trip together through the desolate, wide-open country of Siberia in an effort to reach a troubled relative, things begin to change.
Along their journey, unspoken truths are uttered and a deep intimacy is built. The pair soon become not only travel companions, but secret lovers – spending their days hiking and hunting for food and their nights in one another’s arms. Although they may be far from the peering eyes of their oppressive society, their relationship teeters on a dangerous precipice.
Selected and supported by the IFP Filmmaker Lab and destined to evoke both the breathtaking landscapes and forbidden romance of Brokeback Mountain and the tragedy of a Dostoevsky novel, writer-director Viatcheslav Kopturevskiy’s auspicious debut drama is an elliptical and much-needed examination of internalized homophobia, repression, and identity in a remote Siberian town.
Based on Slovenian filmmaker Darko Štante’s own experiences working with youth in a correctional facility, the debut feature Consequences follows a troubled teen who must adapt to the harsh hierarchy of a youth detention center and come to terms with his sense of self and developing masculinity. Centered around a powerful performance from charismatic newcomer Matej Zemljic, the film takes an unflinching look at the raw impulses of adolescence and the insecurity that lies beneath.
Troubled Andrej (Zemljic) has reached the end of adolescence and of his parents’ patience. He is summoned before a court judge for his anger, violence, and deceit. Sentenced to attend a youth detention center, the handsome and muscular teen is thrown into the correctional facility’s intimidating and testosterone-fuelled hierarchy.
Holding strong against its violent initiations, Andrej finds his anchor of approval and companionship in Željko (Timon Sturbej), the aggressive leader of the center’s gang, which he soon joins in a carefree spiral of sex, drugs, and violence. Yet Andrej’s tough posturing belies an intimate fragility. Revealing this would unravel everything around him.
Three teenagers are shaken up by their first loves in the turmoil of their youth. At a time when others are conforming, they stand their ground and assert their right to love and be free. ‘Genese’ is available now to stream on Dekkoo!
In this one-man show, author/actor/humorist Del Shores shares sordid stories about his Texas family, reads caustic letters he’s written to people like Newt Gingrich and Kirk Cameron and acts out scenes from life. ‘Naked. Sordid. Reality.’ is available now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: Secrets are repressed in a youth detention center.
In the emotional drama Greta, seventy-year-old nurse Pedro (Marco Nanini) needs to find a hospital bed for his friend Daniela (Denise Weinberg). In an effort to free up space, he secretly takes a wounded young man into his home.
In spite of the young man’s troubled past, a tender, physical relationship develops between the caring Pedro, and Jean (Demick Lopes), his convalescent houseguest. Though Jean refers to him in vulgar, humiliating terms, the young man’s true intentions are hard to discern.
This affectionate and dignified cinematic debut tells a tale of friendship, love, sex and age. Surrounded as he is by sickness, death and other disasters on a daily basis, Pedro is possessed of the kind of strength of character that means he is not easily fazed. Not even when he makes a surprising discovery about his new, much younger lover.
Watch the trailer for Greta below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.
No kissing. No passive penetration. For Waseem (Renato Schuch) the rules are very clear. Its only when Lars (Nikolaus Benda) pays him for sex that he can sleep with a man and still feel secure in his heterosexuality.
One of these men is a refugee from Syria living in a shelter, the other is a wealthy German with a loft apartment – the differences couldn’t be more apparent and yet both men find themselves connected by a sincere interest in one another. Their relationship is rooted in a constant alternation between dominance and a longing for closeness. The playful power struggle between the two of them reveals their inability to hide their fears and longings – and to keep up their carefully constructed facades.
While both men struggle to uphold the labels they keep in their heads, their friendship starts to pose a very realistic threat within the Waseem’s shelter.
Not quite a short film, yet not quite a feature (at sixty minutes) the multiple award-winning Label Me is a powerful cross-cultural romantic drama from German writer-director Kai Kreuser. Label Me is currently available to watch on Dekkoo, along with the first two season’s of Kreuser’s sexy and provocative gay series Kuntergrau.
Watch a short clip from Label Me below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.