Say Amen

Say Amen (Israel, 2005, Director: David Dery, 65 minutes): Director David Dery is the youngest son in a large Moroccan-Jewish family. For this Orthodox clan, family and children are the first priority, and for gay David, this poses a serious problem. He has only shared his secret with his two sisters, and the rest of the family are losing patience with his singleness.

Filming over a period of several years at a series of family gatherings, David slowly begins to realize that he needs to come out to his family members. For someone who has always hidden behind the camera, this is difficult, and this film doesn’t always succeed for that reason. We have an awkward gay Orthox Jewish man’s own coming-out home movies, and it doesn’t necessarily make the most coherent film. But we certainly get a glimpse of a large and complicated web of familial relationships and the incredible machine-like pressure on David to conform. That he summons the courage to actually confront this unruly brood is pretty amazing. And family being family, things are never as bad (nor as good) as they sometimes first appear.


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