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The Man with the Answers 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Director: Stelios Kammitsis
Writer: Stelios Kammitsis
Stars: Vasilis Magouliotis, Anton Weil, Pier Andrea Bosna
This was a local and regionally funded European production. The main characters seem to be Greco-Cypriots. For those who don’t know the local history, Cyprus was under British control after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the Russian-Turkish War, with a lease as of 1878. The split in language groups between Cypriot Greeks and Turks led to an “occupation” of the Republic of Cyprus; after the accession of Cyprus to the EU, northern Cyprus is the only part of the EU “occupied illegally”.
Most Cypriots have a working knowledge of English, the default language or.lingua franca between different linguistic groups. Cypriots are perhaps the highest educated of all EU citizens in terms of percent of working age who have tertiary education, and seed education and work throughout the region and the EU. That explains why the protagonists converse in English as a second language; the various languages and dialects they encounter from Continental Greek to Italian going from Cyprus, through the Balkans, and Italy.
The movie is a typically-paced verisimilitude slice-of-life production. No special effects, no change of camera angle or character every half second; it is a realistically paced and portrayed story with actors who are reasonably attractive but not impossibly good-looking or coiffed as in typical Hallmark or American “romance” movies.
What strikes me, as a former long term EU resident, is the sheer banality of the story; it could have been in any number of European countries with any two teenagers, one who has a taste for life, and the other still a bit lost in adolescent angst. They just happened to be “gay” as perhaps 3-5% of males are predominantly.
As a gay person of another era, I had been forced to consume the fairly-tale portrayal of intimate relationships. From the age of sentience (6 years) until adulthood, I was made to feel excluded from the portrayed expected life narrative; Like all invisible minorities, this silent ostracism is a form of mental torture to a tender child who is not intellectually developed to understand that what they are being told or indoctrinated may be wrong, inaccurate, or inapplicable. Unlike visible minorities, being gay is “invisible”, and as David Chokachi, the blondissimo actor in Baywatch said, most people did not know/realize that he was half Iraqi, and he had to put up through his childhood with the most ignorant prejudices.
The only way to end this generation to generation unspoken mental torture of children is to make the issue visible – a corrective attempt after millennia of ignorance and prejudice. There needs to be more everyday portrayals of the life of gays. Most people are indistinguishable in appearance or manner from “gay” to “straight”, just as mixed race people sometimes pass as one or the other.
Hallmark and other “fairy tale” narratives may be harmful to most, not just those who are excluded. In some ways, the normative view of relationships as hetero, White, marriage, kids, house, employed stably, and “happy ever after” – a portrayal that is forced down the throat of impressionable pre-teens without question or thought, is as likely to ill-prepare straight youth for real life relationships, as it is to have no resonance of 1 in 20-30 children. It’s particularly obsolete as perhaps more than half of American children are in “blended” (ex-“broken home”) families.
I say that we “disfavor” these unrealistic portrayals of adult relationships, regardless of sexual orientation, towards a kinder, more humanistic narrative. The vows of marriage should be altered to the reality, “for as long as we both SHALL WISH”.