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Oriented

2015
Distributed by Grasshopper Films, 12 East 32nd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016
Produced by Jake Witzenfeld and Yoav Birenfeld
Directed by Jake Witzenfeld
DVD , color, 80 min.
High School - General Adult
Middle East, Arab Israeli Conflict, Homosexuality, Social Movements, Politics


Reviewed by Lara Herzellah, Research and Information Literacy Librarian, Daniel A. Reed Library, State University of New York at Fredonia

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 5/1/2017

What makes Oriented an effective film is the way it focuses on the human aspect of the Isreali Palestinian Conflict rather than the political. Oriented follows three gay, Palestinians living in Tel Aviv and struggling with both their sexual and national identities. Khader is an openly gay Palestinian living with his Jewish boyfriend; Naim is struggling with coming out to his conservative, village-living family; and Fadi struggles with his sense of nationalism and continually falling for Jewish men. They each represent unique stories that center on two things, being gay and being Palestinian.

Through the lives of these three men, we not only see the struggles they go through as gay individuals but also as Palestinian men living in a country ravaged by war. We see them deal with air raids, protests and the other hardships that war brings. The characters of Oriented are able to connect with the audience through their personal stories. We experience the emotional distress that comes from their conflicting senses of identity, and in turn feel empathy towards them and their strife.

This film is highly recommended for its excellent filming and editing, and for its humanistic approach to these sensitive topics. It is an extremely informative and enlightening film that would benefit any academic library, along with being shown in any history, politics, sociology or Middle Eastern studies course.