›› The Visitor - aka: Cibrâil
a film by Tor Iben.
2011 | 69 mins | Germany.
principal players: Sinan Hancili / Cibrâil, Engin Sert / Marco, Martina Hesse / Christine, Peter Beck / Stefan and Volker Figge as the Eisverkäufer.
Adapted Synopsis: "Cibrâil, a young policeman is living happily with his girlfriend Christine in Berlin. Well integrated in society despite his Turkish background, everything appears to be perfect in his life. Yet something is causing the young policeman sleepless nights. It's only when Christine's sexy male cousin Marco comes to stay that feelings long hidden below the surface begin to appear, as the officer of the law finds himself coming face to face with the laws of attraction."
Okay, let's cut to the chase, for there's a number of negatives in the mix here, given the limited budget of the piece is all but obvious in its style, minimalist to say the least and with one too many sequences having been shot way too dark for my liking. That said, this is equally a film that beautifully showcases one man's journey of homosexual awakening. For it is here that writer and director Tor Iben of Love Kills credit scores, having wonderfully juxtaposed Cibrâil's heterosexual façade with a man who whilst not declaring his rainbow calling card upon his arrival in Cibrâil's life, does however not hold back from sampling the seductive manly delights that the city has to offer.
For make no mistake, this is a work that is proudly gay through and through, laced with scenes of same-sex lip-service to sequences out cruising in the park, right down to insert footage, albeit all too brief, of Berlin Pride in all of its fabulous festival self. Yet this is also a film that illustrates the two-edged sword that is cruising, with Iben having gone out of his way to depict both the sexual high and to his credit, the deadly low of park side activities.
Checking Marco's ... pulse in The Visitor.
Heavy in hand-held camera work and frequently intercut with picture postcard views of Berlin as Marco "the tourist" takes in the sights, including as scene dividers numerous shots of the noted 100-foot "Molecule Man" sculpture by US artist Jonathan Borofsky, the result whilst somewhat rough around the edges, is nevertheless strikingly vivid and real, including shots of everyday life, together with some sensuous scenes of erotic tension, as Cibrâil's hands do the walking. For whilst a tale of sexual discovery, this is also a love story, with Marco having clearly stirred Cibrâil's heart in more directions, than one.
Bears in love in The Visitor.
True and at the sixty-nine minute mark, this work is on the short side of cinematic life. Thankfully it's not padded out to the detriment of the story, even if the ending may feel a little too neat and tidy for some. But that said, this is a film with a raw feel to it, one in which the aroma of succulent manflesh can almost be smelt in the celluloid air in all of its bearded, hairy glory. And there aren't that many gay films you can say that about, even if the DVD title is but a mirror of Dan Castle's lush, if surreal surfing take on life and love.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the full monty.
Overall - file under ... 3 stars.