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Friday, April 11, 2014

"In the Name of" DVD: Awesome Portrayal of Crises of Faith and Love

IN THE NAME OF DVD & Online Streaming

Watching the sensitive and well-produced 2013 Polish film "In the Name of," which is being released on DVD on April 15, 2014, is one of two recent surprises from uber-uber-awesome Film Movement. The other relates to the 2011 film "Hitler's Children" from that provider of exceptional foreign films.

After watching "Name," accessing Tivo in search of sitcoms for light fare with which to finish Sunday night viewing led to discovering "Hitler" in the "Featured Programs" section. This title suggested that it was a potentially hilarious History Channel style special on people claiming to be the offspring of Adolph Hitler.

Seeing the Film Movement logo appear at the beginning of "Hitler" communicated both that the suggestion related to Tivoing numerous documentaries and that this show did not feature unintentionally comical "ordinary blokes" who claimed a famous lineage.

This German documentary featured children and grandchildren of Himmler and other top-ranked Nazi officials, The primary theme was the difficulty of dealing with having such horrendous individuals in your ancestry. Like all other Movement titles, this one is exceptional.

Returning to "Name," it is the latest entry in the superb "Film of  the Month Club" that Film Movement operates. Like "Hitler," it portrays a wonderfully unusual variation on a common film theme.

The honors for "Name" include the Teddy Award, which is issued to the best LGBT-themed film, at the Berlin Film Festival.

"Name" centers around Catholic priest Adam who struggles with his attraction to teen-aged boys, crudely admitting in one scene in which he is drunk that he would enjoy buggering each of the delinquents in the facility for such boys that he operates in a small Polish village. One difference between this film and virtually every other one that explores this theme is that Adam does not force himself on his charges or attempt to manipulate them.

Additionally, Adam is intensely sympathetic. He fully understands that the church does not allow homosexual activity but cannot stop having the feelings that cause such intense distress.The fact that this repression severely limits with whom Adam can confide only worsens his pain.

As the liner notes for the DVD note, the manners in which Adam vents his intense frustration add a great deal to this film.

The hooligans with whom Adam works only amplifies his pain and our sympathy for him. Like most adolescents, these boys wring every possible ounce of pleasure from any weakness that they sense regarding their guardian.

Seeing Adam interact with the particular object of his affection and having it returned is sweet, tender, and charming. Every element of the mean-spirited reprisal is less positive.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of the trailer for "Name" does a particularly good job conveying the effective manner in which it communicates the multiple messages discussed above.


Film Movement additionally shows its equally excellent instincts regarding the bonus short film for this release; the Israeli production "Summer Vacation" is an entertaining and mildly campy tale of family guy Yuval,who experiences numerous mixed emotions on the arrival of the man with whom he had an extra-marital affair a few years earlier at the seaside resort where Yuval is vacationing with his nuclear family.

"Vacation" does particularly well portraying many issues related to the "complicated" relationship between Yuval and the other man. Repression and physical urges only scratch the surface.

The final word regarding both truly thought-provoking films is that they are perfect choices for the period leading up to Gay Pride season.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Name" or "Vacation" is welcome to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.