Out (Tse) is a film which, according to the press release by Inviva, the London gallery currently screening the work, makes manifest the fact that the director, Roee Rosen, ‘has been an outspoken and long-time critic of Israeli government policy.’ It apparently does so by presenting the following scenario, subsequent to interviews with those involved: in a genuine Bondage Domination Sadomasochism session, one woman, a feminist left-wing activist named Yoana, whips and paddles the cellulite-riddled bare buttocks of another woman, a right-wing leaning Isreali named Ela, who is naked and handcuffed to the ceiling. While this occurs, Ela recites quotes from the extreme right-wing Israeli foreign minister and deputy prime minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman. She does this in a silly demonic voice which in post-production has been accentuated in its gutteral growliness. The film then closes on a mournful song performed on accordian and musical saw by two men, and interspersed throughout are miniatures musing on medieval martyrdom scenes, portraying a demon escaping through mouths, rectums, naves and vaginas. All this is presented sincerely with nary a tongue in cheek, and this is unfortunate because the film is as ridiculous and difficult to take seriously as this synopsis implies.

In the interviews, Yoana makes the observation that, in the same way that, as Baudrillard famously argues, Disneyland exists to make the rest of America seem ‘real’, Lieberman exists to make the rest of Israel’s politicians seem sane and reasonable, while they in fact simply obfuscate or legitimise their similarly racist opinions. This is a very interesting point, and apparently the film pivots upon it, as Rosen himself states that his reason for staging an exorcism wherein Lieberman’s demonic spirit posesses the body of a right-wing Israeli citizen is as a metaphor for the fact that ‘the danger, is not Avigdor Lieberman but rather those who percieve themselves as sane, peace loving, humane, even as they vote for the politicians who will legalise Lieberman’s ideas’ because ‘in that sense…the demon turns out to be its hosting body.’ However, prurient closeups of red-raw freshly-sliced bum cheeks do little to interrogate these dynamics, and when one’s subject is something which negatively affects human lives to the extent of Lieberman’s party’s myriad apartheid policies, it seems almost reckless to explore it in such a loosely conceptual manner.

Out (Tse) screens at Inviva in Rivington Place, East London until the 5th of May

Daniel Neofetou

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Reeling The Real is a new community dedicated to the discussion, promotion, and celebration of documentary film-making.

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