Nimr is a young Palestinian man studying psychology. At night, Nimr avoids border patrols to illegally enter Tel Aviv and go to gay bars. His conservative family doesn't know about his sexual orientation. To top that Nimr's brother is a part of an extremist rebel movement who do not hesitate one sec to kill someone is he is gay. One such night he meets Roy, a handsome Israeli lawyer working at his well-connected father's law firm, and the two instantly hit it off. Nimr initially receives a student visa that would enable him to visit Tel Aviv once a week to take a course. However, the honeymoon is soon over for the young couple, when Israeli security forces attempt to blackmail Nimr by threatening to reveal his sexuality to his family unless he collaborates with them. Nimr's family ultimately finds out and disown him. His brother does not kill him but lets him escape to Tel Aviv and asks him to never come back. Hearing the entire situation, Roy tries his best to pull any strings he can to help his lover but comes up short. Nimr's situation keeps getting trickier and tricker. Roy finally manages to get a way out for Nimr from Israel to France and promises to meet him there. Here starts the cat an douse game between the 2 lovers and the secret service. What happens ultimately shocks you. Nimr manages to escape but Roy has to pay big price for it by being in prison.
The film's title is quite appropriate. The situation the protagonists are in forces them to run and hide, keep their love literally and figuratively in the dark, rather than celebrate it. The film shows the insane and crazy political situation in those regions in an so far unseen way. The love scenes in the film are touching, and surprisingly direct, but they were not at all intimidating or disturbing. The politics of the inherently tragic situation of a gay love affair in the midst of the Israeli Palestinian conflict is where the film really shines. The chemistry between the two leads is off the charts, gluing us to the screen whenever they share it. This is crucial, because it ensures we've invested in the fate of this forbidden romance. And the fact that the 2 leads are both good looking doesn't harm at all. As an actor, Nimr creates an earnest, charming, likable protagonist, who evokes our sympathy more and more as his situation deteriorates. Roy's compassion and care for Nimr is heart warming making us all want to have a Roy in our life. A crowd pleasing happy ending would have been unrealistic but the vague ending actually kept me satisfied.
This film is not about homophobia or the Israel/Palestinian conflict. It's about love and the desperate fight it must put up to survive in a world ruled by hate. (8/10)