BFI Flare 2017, part 2
Posted on: 05 Apr 2017 by Philip Wyn Jones
Jesus (Fernando Guzzoni, Chile, 86 min). Teenager Jesus and his father don’t get on at all. Jesus prefers to be hanging out with his mates, getting drunk, getting high on drugs and having sex. One evening things get out of hand and something dreadful happens. Jesus hopes his father will help him before the police come knocking on the door. His father says he’ll help him escape. This is an extremely explicit and violent film including graphic sex and violence. It is not judgmental and the youngsters’ motives and backgrounds. are not explored.
I Love You Both (Doug Archibald, USA, 88min). Archibald is also one of the lead actors in this film together with his sister, Kristin, and they co-wrote the screenplay. They play inseparable twins who live together and enjoy each other’s company . One evening, at a party, they meet a handsome, affable young man and they both fall for him. He says he loves them both. Is this true? Is he something of a two-timer? This difficult situation is treated with a light touch and what might be a melodrama turns out to be a rather delightful comedy.
Pushing Dead (Tom E. Brown, USA, 111 min). Dan has been HIV Positive for many years. It’s his extensive and expensive medication that keeps him going. He also has to contend with the form-filling chores this entails. This aspect of the film is convincingly handled and leading actor James Roday is splendid. What a pity then that screen-writer and director Brown has also added several minor characters who aren’t particularly interesting and an element of comedy that is more silly than amusing. The end result is a film that’s too long and rather tedious.
Out of Iraq (Eva Orner and Chris Mckim, USA, 81 min, pictured).This powerful and very moving documentary tells the story of Nayyef and Hayder, two Iraqi soldiers who fell in love with each other and soon realised that they would have to flee Iraq in order to live together openly. For Nayyef this was comparatively easy because he was working for the American army as a translator and contacts there helped him to settle in the USA. Many years passed before Hayder could escape, first to Lebanon, then Canada and finally the USA. There are several heart-stopping scenes in the film, showing gay men being hurled off the top of high buildings and facing firing squads but there’s also rejoicing, on screen and in the audience, when Nayyef and Hayder are finally re-united.
Philip Wyn Jones