Friday, March 15th, 2024

Queerguru’s Andrew Hebden raves about ‘ UNSPOKEN’ a unique coming of age film that he declares ‘you MUST see for yourself



Sometimes a movie comes along that is surprising, and delightful because of it. Unspoken, written and directed by Jeremy Borison, is one of those. A coming of age and coming out story, a holocaust themed movie, a romance and mystery all rolled into one. And maybe none of them as well. Which is the surprise we will painstakingly try not to spoil. You must see it for yourself.

Noam (Charlie Korman) is an orthodox Jewish teen sitting shiva after the death of Opa, his grandfather, a holocaust survivor. Everyone says how alike they both were. Noam is being pressured into dating his female school friend Miriam (Liz Richman), also an Orthodox Jew whose family are very close to his. Amongst his grandfather’s possessions he finds a few Hardy Boy mystery stories and a photo of his grandfather with another man, along with a profession of undying love from someone who signs their name as simply ‘M’. Noam realizes he and his grandfather may have more in common than he thought. 

Noam sets out to find the story of Opa’s relationship with M partly as a school project about the Holocaust. He is enthusiastically supported by his handsome classmate Jonah (Michael Zapesotsky), whom Noam starts to fall for. After searching the Holocaust records of the dead they determine that M is not in the records because he survived and is still alive. They decide they have to meet M.

Partly the film tries to illuminate the other half of the Holocaust. There were six million Jews who were murdered and there were six million others who were also murdered including the Roma people, people with disabilities and homosexuals. At his orthodox school this other story is ‘unspoken’. 

The strength of the film, and it is charmingly clever, is its ability to point the audience in one direction only to spin them gently into another. It plays with the expectations about movie genres leading to cul de sacs rather than conclusions. 

Korman, as Noam, is wide eyed without being annoyingly naive. He demands that the audience be hopeful for him. The film is about stories versus truth and the way in which both are important for our hearts. It is shot with so many close ups on Korman that the performance has to be authentic from the eyeballs out. He succeeds.

A movie about religion and the Holocaust will not be on everyone’s list. It comes with a lot of specific expectations. Throw those aside. Borison delivers something surprising and original. A genuine refresh of the coming out story that is warmingly optimistic despite some unexpected curve balls.



We reviewed the film at BFI Flare London’s Queer Film Fest for details of all future screenings check https://unspokenthefilm.com/


Queerguru Contributing Editor ANDREW HEBDEN is a MEDIA and cultural STUDIES graduate spending his career between London, Beijing, and NYC as an expert in media and social trends. As part of the expanding minimalist FIRE movement, he recently returned to the UK and lives in Soho. He devotes as much time as possible to the movies, theatre, and the gym. His favorite thing is to try something (anything) new every day”



Posted by queerguru  at  16:48


Genres:  coming of age, coming out, drama

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