The Bubble is a 2006 romantic drama directed by Israeli director Eytan Fox. Set in modern day Tel Aviv, The Bubble deals with the trials and tribulations of three young Tel Aviv residents: Lulu (Daniela Virtzer), an female political activist fighting against the occupation; Yali (Alon Friedman), the owner of a popular restaurant; and Noam (Ohad Knoller), a former member of the Israeli army who falls in love with Ashraf, a Palestinian man, after meeting him at a checkpoint. After spending a night with Noam in Tel Aviv, Ashraf decides to stay in Israel even though he doesn’t have Israeli citizenship. With the help of Lulu and Yali, Ashraf passes as an Israeli Jew called Shimi. Throughout the movie, the audience sees how Noam and Ashraf’s relationship develops and how far both are willing to go to keep their love intact.
When I was watching this movie, I noticed that the director was trying to tackle many issues that are prominent in the Middle East, issues like gay relationships, interracial relationships, the military occupation of Palestinians and Arab lands, and role-switching. In order for Ashraf to stay with the man he loves, he easily passes as an Israeli Jew. He is never questioned about his background and he is able to stay in character up into the point where Lulu’s ex-boyfriend exposes him as a Palestinian. Ashraf explains in the film that he cannot be openly gay in the conservative Palestinian territories and by passing as an Israeli Jew, he is able to be openly gay and lives the life he always wanted because Tel Aviv is a liberal, cosmopolitan city.
I think Eytan Fox does a wonderful job in showing the struggles of the modern-day Palestinian living in dichotomic environment, and he even steps it up by adding the “being gay in the Middle East” element to this film. With it multi-dimensional plot and well developed characters, I would recommend everyone in class to watch this film.
Click Here for the US Trailer of The Bubble