Survival is Not Enough.
Unveileds tagline reads: Survival is Not Enough. I would argue that this film is not enough. It starts off so well, with intrigue, cool lighting, a fascinating story, lesbian drama. My favorite issues are raised: gender, religion, culture, identity. The film quality is hynoptic, dark, grainy, a shadowy compliment. But, half way through the movie, the story line falls apart. As my wife, The Director, so aptly concluded, It was a little loose.
Boys Dont Cry Meets Iranian Politics
Fariba must flee Iran, afraid of persecution for loving another women. She flies to Germany seeking political asylum. Once there, she lies to authorities, telling them her reasons for leaving were strictly political in nature. While waiting for her asylum documents, Fariba befriends Siamak, another émigré from Iran. When Siamak commits suicide, despairing loss of country and family, Fariba takes on his identity, thinking it the only way of assuring her chance at freedom.
Lesbian Lives as a Man
As Siamak, Fariba finds work in a small, rural German town. At the cabbage factory, Fariba, as Siamak, meets Anne, the local blonde, who is in desperate need of some difference. She thinks Siamak is her answer and escape. Together, they must confront sexual identity, the narrow-minded sameness of local culture, fear of discovery and deportation, even rather dangerous confrontations with Annes ex-boyfriend. Its a tiresome journey and there are many missteps. At one point, my wife snapped, Youd think a lesbian posing as a Iranian man would make better decisions. In Germany, no less.
Oh, this is painful.
Although The Director was talking about how much the movie drags, the subject matter is quite painful. A vital reminder of what women around the world must sacrifice and endure in order to love freely, to live freely, if at alla reminder of what is denied lesbians, specifically, and women in general. This essential message carries Unveiled and is the reason for viewing. However, it is unfortunate that the true and potent impact of the film is diluted and distracted by poor story telling and direction.
My Rating: 3 ½ Stars