Wednesday, February 11, 2009

You should see it: Unveiled (Fremde Haut)

“Next time you feel like being a lesbian in Europe is hard, think of what it must be like for someone living in a country like Iran. I know this is not the kind of introduction you were expecting from a review of a typical lesbian movie. Well, in my defence I would like to say that what I want to talk about is anything but a typical lesbian movie.

Fremde Haut (known as “Unveiled” in all non-German speaking countries) is the 2005 movie by Angelina Maccarone about an Iranian woman named Fariba who has to flee her country to avoid prosecution after the vice police finds out she is having a relationship with another woman.

As most of you probably know, Iran is not the best place to live if you happen to be gay or lesbian. Homosexuality is viewed as a crime that is punishable by death and this is not just in theory. Even very recently, human rights groups reported about the public floggings and executions of those accused of being homosexual. Punishment tends to be slightly less harsh for lesbians than gay men, but running the risk of being flogged a hundred times for being gay would make me flee the country too.

Fariba tries to seek asylum in Germany, but because she cannot bring herself to admit why she had to leave Iran and therefore makes up a story instead, she is denied residency. To avoid being send back to Iran and risk being killed for being a lesbian, she takes on the identity of an Iranian man from the refugee camp who committed suicide. Luckily, this way she does get temporal residency in Germany.”

Read the entire review here.

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