For his feature film debut Israeli writer/director YUVAL HADADI gives us this compelling tale of an outwardly successful gay couple in Tel Aviv who seem to have all the trappings of a good life but who are nevertheless destined for heartbreak
Yoav (ODED LEOPOLD) and Dan (UDI PERSI) live in a chic penthouse city apartment and as the film opens they are at home celebrating their 15th Anniversary together surrounded by their closest friends, Yoav is visible disturbed when the conversation amongst all the other gay couples, turns to swapping stories about their newly acquired babies. Even more so when the news that Yoav’s best gal pal Alma (RUTI ASARSAI) is also pregnant and people assume that he was the donor.
Yoav’s thorough dislike of children is somehow connected to the enormous chip on his shoulder about his own unexplained very unhappy childhood, and even now he still refuses to discuss or visit his elderly father currently dying in nursing home. All of if this is getting under the skin of the normally unfazed Yoav who as an alpha male is using to controlling simply everything. When one of his major architect projects go wrong at his Practice it acts as the last straw that sends him over the edge.
Dan, his sweet faithful partner who works as a Community Lawyer has got too used walking around his partner trying not to step on cracked eggs, but even he slowly begins to realise that Yoav is unravelling and seems not to want him or Alma trying to stop his self-inflicted decline.
Hadadi’s fine script takes the story beyond the normal struggle about accepting our sexuallity and tells the acutely observed tale about the difficulties of adjusting as a gay couple into the all the expectations of contemporary life. All of the three leads playing such well constructed characters give such pitch perfect performances that have you completely invested in the outcome right to the very last frame.
15 years is a beautifully executed debut feature that is a very worthy addition to the field of exceptional Israeli LGBTQ cinema which never fails to please
(This review was originally published on Queerguru on Friday, October 4th, 2019