Jake Witzenfeld’s directorial debut, Oriented, chronicles the lives of three Palestinian men. This fascinating film follows Khader Abu Seif and his friends, Fadi Daeem and Naeem Jiryes, gay Palestinians who live and work in Tel Aviv, Israel.
We watch the three men as they cook meals, dance at parties, lie on the beach, and make politically charged short films for YouTube. Coinciding with the 2014 war in Gaza, Oriented portrays the challenges not only faced by those who live in this tumultuous region but also those experienced by gay Arab men.
Several films have documented the social and political repercussions of being gay in Palestine. This film is an intimate portrait of that, but it is so much more. It introduces us to assertive young people who insist on their right to define their identity the way they choose.
Oriented examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a compassionate and funny, yet moving, way. Through his unique lens, director Witzenfeld gives us an intimate peek into a world that outsiders rarely get to see. This important film will not only change the way you view the conflict in the Middle East but will make you feel invested in its subjects in a very personal way.
Official Selection: 2015 Arab Film Festival, 2016 Human Rights Arts & Film Festival, 2016 Boston Palestine Film Festival, 2016 Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival