The Bubble Eytan Fox

The Bubble Eytan Fox
The Bubble, Eytan Fox’s follow-up to his well-received 2005 offering Walk on Water, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006 and has slowly been making the rounds at nearly every queer film festival before finally landing on DVD. Perhaps the latter medium is best suited for the film, as it often plays like a Tel Aviv version of Sex and the City, except with gay men and suicide bombers. The film depicts three 20-something roommates who spend their days and nights chatting about sex, love, friendship and, well, horrific Israeli politics. Noam (Ohad Knoller) is an ex-soldier who works in a record shop and snarls at the teens who want to buy Britney Spears or Israeli pop idol CDs; Lulu (Daniella Wircer) aspires to work as a fashion designer in New York but has issues keeping a man in her life longer than one night; and Yelli (Alon Freidmann) is a flamboyant restaurant manager who has a crush on Noam. Their fun and fancy free (for Israel, anyway) lives are changed when a queer Palestinian man, Ashraf (Yousef Sweid), enters their lives, and Noam’s bed, and they begin to realise how fragile their existence inside the "bubble” of liberal Tel Aviv really is. The plot sounds as clichéd as it is, and The Bubble mostly feels like a well-intentioned Israel imitation of American queer romantic comedies (which are well-intentioned imitations of American straight romantic comedies). There are some charming moments, but when the light romance becomes awkwardly juxtaposed with plots involving tragic events, including suicide bombings and army-inflicted murders, The Bubble becomes a bit of a mess. While one can’t ignore the imperative ambition in Fox’s continued attempts to explore the undiscovered cinematic territory of contemporary queer Israeli life (and in this film in particular, the unique influence of American popular culture on Tel Aviv), The Bubble fails in comparison to Fox’s more poignant earlier offerings (particularly 2002’s Yossi and Jagger). The DVD’s extras don’t help make up for it either, with nothing "extra” to speak of beyond optional French and English subtitles. (Seville)