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Monday, May 01, 2006

Unveiled

Movie review by Duane Simolke, author of the West Texas fiction collection The Acorn Stories, for This Week In Texas.

(German with some Persian. English subtitles.)

Named one of the Top Ten Films of 2005 by The Advocate and endorsed by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, this acclaimed political drama stars Jasmin Tabatabai (Bandits) as Fariba, an Iranian lesbian.

After Fariba flees persecution in Iran, she finds it difficult to find permanent asylum in Germany. In desperation, she assumes the identity of a deceased man and accepts a factory job. While constantly working and plotting toward citizenship, she falls in love with Anne, a female coworker played by Anneke Kim Sarnau (The Constant Gardener).

The entire cast gives quiet but powerful performances. Clearly just trying to live their lives in a thankless job, the people in Fariba’s new world cannot grasp the fear and injustice she faces. Instead, they leave it to the viewers to witness the sad plight she faces for loving a woman.

Without speeches or platitudes, Unveiled harshly criticizes any government that would abuse people over their gender, politics, or sexual orientation. That criticism—that indictment—relies on the compelling way director Angelina Maccarone and a talented cast share this story. While some politically charged American films from 2005 provoked discussion and won awards, this new import should draw more attention to the international abuse of gay and lesbian people.