Saturday, September 23, 2017

Don't Look at Me that Way (film review)

Hedi (Uisenma Borchu) is the Mongolian neighbour of Iva, a German single mother living with her daughter Sophia. Hedi meets Sophia first and the two become friends but Iva is a little suspicious until she meets Hedi herself and the two women become friends and then lovers. Both women have male lovers as well and unusually for film (where normally bisexuality is portrayed as a phase until a character realises they're really gay / lesbian) the relationships are all just an acknowledged and accepted part of the two women's bisexual identity (though it would be nice if cinema could one day also acknowledge that bisexual characters can commit to a monogamous relationship and still be bisexual).

The relationship between the two women is very believable, as are both their relationships with Sophia, who is a lovely character, a really cheeky, amusing six year old.  Hedi is also a great character, treated to some degree as a scapegoat because she is different in so many ways to those around her, but also envied because of some of the freedoms her cultural difference gives her.

The scenes in Germany are interspersed with vivid scenes of Hedi taking Sophia to meet her grandmother in Mongolia, which are probably dream sequences though this isn't obvious.

I really enjoyed the film up until the point where Hedi starts a relationship with Iva's father. The cinematic trope of the much older man and the much younger woman has been done to death in my opinion and from that point onwards the film significantly deteriorates.

The film is directed by Uisenma Borchu and in this interview she talks about the film.

Don't Look at Me That Way screened at Edinburgh Filmhouse for BiVisibility Day and is showing as part of the Scottish Queer International Film Festival which takes place 27 September - 1 October in Glasgow

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