Review: ‘Lola + Bilidikid’

A heartfelt, if somewhat overheated, melodrama set against the Turkish immigrant transvestite community in contempo Berlin, this handsome feature from L.A.- and Istanbul-based writer-director Kutlug Ataman ("The Serpent's Tale," 1994) displays lots of seamy atmosphere and some solid storytelling in service to a tale best suited for gay fests and like-minded specialty venues.

A heartfelt, if somewhat overheated, melodrama set against the Turkish immigrant transvestite community in contempo Berlin, this handsome feature from L.A.- and Istanbul-based writer-director Kutlug Ataman (“The Serpent’s Tale,” 1994) displays lots of seamy atmosphere and some solid storytelling in service to a tale best suited for gay fests and like-minded specialty venues.

Sixteen-year-old Murat (Baki Davrak) is hesitantly experimenting with his sexuality in parks and bars, dodging his hostile classmates and uptight, gay-hating brother. But when Murat falls in with nightclub performer Lola (Gandi Mukli), one third of a popular transvestite act at a local club, the teenager learns that in this closed society little stays concealed for long. Popular item opened the Panorama Special program in Berlin and subsequently shared a jury prize from the nine gay and lesbian fest programmers who bestow the annual Teddy Awards.

Lola + Bilidikid

German

Production

A Zero Film production, in association with WDR/Arte, C&O Produktion, Boje-Buck Film. (International sales: Good Machine Intl., New York.) Produced by Martin Hagemann. Executive producer, James Schamus. Directed, written by Kutlug Ataman.

Crew

Camera (color), Chris Squires; editor, Ewa J. Lind; music, Arpad Bondy; costume designer, Ulla Gothe. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 12, 1999. Original title: Lola und Bilidikid. German and Turkish dialogue. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Gandi Mukli, Erdal Yildiz, Baki Davrak, Inge Keller, Celal Perk, Mesut Ozdemir, Murat Yilmaz, Hakan Tandogan.
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