The Bubble (2006)

DVD Cover (Strand Releasing)
Genres: Drama, Gay & Lesbian Films, Romantic Drama
Dutiful record shop clerk Noam shares a Tel Aviv apartment with fellow gay Yali, a more flamboyant restaurateur, and straight would-be fashion designer Lulu. During a compulsory military tour manning occupied West Bank checkpoints, Noam falls in love with a handsome Palestinian, Ashraf, a closeted gay and jihad extremist. Ashraf is smuggled into Tel Aviv, pretending to be Jewish, to be waiter at Yali's restaurant. --IMDb
Eytan Fox Eytan Fox
Ohad Knoller Ohad Knoller
Yousef 'Joe' Sweid Yousef 'Joe' Sweid
Daniella Wircer Daniella Wircer
Alon Friedman Alon Friedman
Zohar Liba Zohar Liba

7.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: May 01, 2007
You might have already heard the name Eytan Fox. He is the director responsible for the critically acclaimed and commercially successful "Yossi & Jagger" from a few years back. His newest motion picture, "The Bubble", made its Birmingham premiere on Saturday and was one of the few films that seems like it might have a shot at nationwide theatrical distribution, eventually. Ever since I saw the film during the screening process, I was in love with everything from the touching storyline to the honest and very original performances. Eytan Fox is a director who really knows how to deliver emotional honesty to his audience and "The Bubble" is a shining example.

The film follows four three Israeli youths in Tel Aviv. Noam (Ohad Knoller) has just returned from working a month at one of the checkpoints and works at a local record store, where he'll sell anything by Britney Spears. Yelli (Alon Friedman) runs a local eatery and is Noam's best friend. And, Lulu (Daniela Virtzer) works at a candle shop and is also a very energetic activist, seeking reform between Israeli and Palestinian relations. All of their lives are thrown into overdrive when Noam's friend Ashraf (Yousef Sweid) arrives, a Palestinian whom they pass off as Israeli so he can stay with them longer. The film follows their journies together in Tel Aviv, as Noam and Ashraf discover their unending love for one another. The film shows the lives of homosexuals in both Israel and Palestine, but focuses more on the hatred of the two cultures for one another and the affect that hatred has on two men who just want to love one another.

First off, this is a devastatingly honest film. Eytan Fox does a great job of showing the cultural differences between the Israeli's and the Palestinians. He also does a good job of showing how these cultures deal with homosexuality. They are only separated by a few miles, but their overall treatments of homosexuals is worlds apart. The modern music from bands like Bright Eyes and Nada Surf add a very quirky feel to the film, and the blending of comedy and camp also helps take away from the bleak and somewhat depressing circumstances under which some of them live. These are young people in the prime of their lives, unable to truly know what it is to be totally free and totally happy, based on their circumstances and their situations. The ending is one of the most emotional and gut-wrenching you're likely to ever seen and I think the entire audience was weeping for the next twenty-minutes. Those kinds of reactions are what audiences need from a film.

This was my favorite film from the festival and will probably make my end of the year list, much like the film "Summer Storm" did last year, a German film that was a festival film. "The Bubble" is just a very unique and very heartfelt piece of cinema that leaves a lasting impact on the viewer and really makes you think about how well-off we really are in the United States. As far away as we are from being equal, we are still much better off than if we lived in Palestine. It really helps to put things in perspective about what the true definition of 'oppression' is and why we sling that word around so often. "The Bubble" helps show us that, in the end, love is all that matters. Love transcends borders and cultural differences and every other barrier put in its way. Love survives. That is what I took from "The Bubble", and look for it in a theatre soon, so you can take the same.

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