Monday, May 19, 2008

The Beirut Apt

Documentary about gay and lesbian people in Lebanon. Not only are homosexual acts criminalized in Lebanon under "Article 534," but even speaking publicly about the topic is illegal. The title of the film refers to a quiet apartment the filmmakers found where their subjects could speak without fear of being overheard by the neighbors. Lebanon is a complicated mix of ethnic and religious groups, including Sunni and Shi'a, plus various flavors of Christian (Eastern Orthodox, Druze, Catholic), all overshadowed by the 2006 battles between Hezbollah and the Israeli military. The interviews include a clinical psychotherapist who speaks candidly about "corrective therapy" (trying to "cure" homosexuality), a practice widespread in the Arab world but viewed as unethical in the West. Recommended.

The Beirut Apt, dir. Daniele Salaris, UK/Italy 2007, 50 min. video

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