In contrast, this film, directed by Barak Heymann, Tomer Heymann & Alexander Bodin Saphir – is the story of an Israeli man, his nation, his sexuality, and his choir, wears cinema like a suit of armour. The presence of the cameras gives Saar the courage to confront his parents, who threw him out his kibbutz as a teenager, and the film’s best scenes show these confrontations, with his family boxed in by the camera’s lens and forced to answer to the way they’ve treated their son and their brother.
Saar is the perfect documentary subject, someone totally willing to share all, from visits to his doctor to monitor his HIV to those painful family meals. He is also a great narrator of his own life, a man who has spent a lot of time thinking about the path his life has taken. This reflection has clearly come from years of loneliness, perhaps, but the film never feels like it is exploiting Saar over this; if anything, it is Saar who exploits the film, allowing him to get crucially closer to a family that, if not outright homophobic, are at least homosceptic.
However, a large amount of the sadly small audience for a film such as this will be there for the other side of Saar’s life, his membership of the London Gay Men’s Chorus. Maybe having to sit through schmaltzy middle-of-the-road show numbers is perhaps the price I have to pay for this film being made, but every minute where we’re watching a version of ‘Holding Out For a Hero’ complete with some very literal dance moves is sixty seconds where we could be delving into the real emotions; the music is choral, but the family scenes are operatic, and I’ve always been more of an opera queen.
Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? is released on April 7th