In partnership with Network Releasing BFFS are able to offer screening rights for Out in the Dark ahead of its DVD release! Out in the Dark is available to screen now – two months before general release.
Nimr, a talented student living in the West Bank longs for a better life abroad. On a night out in Tel Aviv he meets Roy, a young Israeli lawyer, and the two fall in love. But Nimr becomes trapped between a society that rejects him for his sexuality and one that shuns his nationality.
Mayer’s award-winning début film is a tense, provocative film that combines two serious issues – gay rights and Israeli-Palestinian tensions – into a deeply rewarding, and challenging whole. Out in the Dark depicts a love affair in the shadow of an international conflict where borders, family and homophobia challenge Nimr and Roy’s future.
Out in the Dark opens with Nimr sneaking into Tel Aviv to visit a gay club where his friend Mustafa is performing. There Nimr meets Roy as they both struggle to get service from the bartender. They hit it off, and fortunately the chemistry between the actors feels entirely genuine – a necessity for any love story – and it is only at the end of the night when Nimr has to sneak back that he admits to Roy that he is a Palestinian. Roy isn’t too fazed by it and insists on seeing Nimr again. Fortunately for them both Nimr is accepted onto a course at the university in Tel Aviv and is given a permit to cross over. With his new-found freedom Nimr is able to develop a relationship with Roy.
Yet it is inevitable that problems will arise. For a start we know that Nimr is hiding his sexuality from his family and that his brother is storing weapons in the basement. Indeed it is not long before events being to turn against Nimr. Mayer builds a claustrophobic atmosphere which reaches its peak when Mustafa is deported by the Israeli secret police and subsequently murdered in Palestine – with the perpetrators seemingly undecided as to whether they are killing him because he is a suspected collaborator or because he is gay. Soon afterwards Nimr himself finds himself receiving the attentions of the Secret Police who want him to inform on his family.
Out in the Dark explores the conflict between Nimr’s sexuality and his nationality. Nimr cannot be a Palestinian because he is gay and he cannot be an Israeli because of his origin and family. He is fated to be an outsider whichever side of the fence he finds himself. The only place he feels that he belongs is with Roy.
Mayer allows enough time before the walls start closing in to firmly establish his characters and our sympathies with them. Nimr’s family life is fraught but they are all dedicated to each other. As the central relationship of the story Nimr and Roy’s love is allowed time to develop to the extent that we believe that they would be prepared to throw everything away for one another. As such the dramatic events of the second half seem justified and more believable than they otherwise would.
Out in the Dark is rooted within a terrifying real-world situation and illustrates the human suffering that affects even those who are not involved in the direct conflict. Nimr’s situation is largely hopeless, and he is not too naive to realise that but he is also determined that some things are worth striving for – and in his case it is Roy and a life in which he is able to be who he is.
BFFS has partnered with Network releasing to offer advance bookings on Out in the Dark which will be available two months before the general DVD release. The director Michael Mayer has also recorded a personal introduction to the film for film societies and community cinemas which will be on the disc. Out in the Dark is available to screen from 1st September 2013 ahead of its DVD release on the 11th November.