Program 22 – Family Commitments
Germany / 2015 / 85 min. | Directed by: Hanno Olderdissen
In German, Arabic, and Yiddish with English subtitles
One thing we all have in common is family: it’s who we love, who we hate, and who we ultimately depend on. So it is with David (Max von Pufendorf) and his meddling mother, who wants her son to maintain his Jewish lineage. Meanwhile, his partner, Khaled (Omar El Saeidi) gets grief from his Arab father, who wants his son to be straight, get married, and have children. To make matters worse, David’s mother holds the purse strings to her son’s failing art gallery as well as the keys to his apartment.
Enter Sarah, who is not only nineteen and pregnant, but claims David is the father. David has just proposed to Khaled, but didn’t plan on there being a baby in the picture. Khaled thinks David needs to accept the child as his own, and raise it with him. The ant hill of lies everyone builds to promote their version of family, or at the very least protect the commitments that go along with their expected roles, begins to crumble when one person starts to tell the truth and another realizes it’s time to compromise or lose everything. Very real and serious socio-political and religious conflicts between Jews and Arabs, perspectives on straight and gay relationships and the divide between upper and working classes – along with issues around adoption – are raised with humor and compassion by German director Hanno Olderdissen, as he shows that taking down barriers can begin with recognizing and celebrating our very own families.
— Adrienne Ehrlich
Official Selection: Boston LGBT Film Festival Official Selection: Filmfest Hamburg