Review: ‘Family Matters’

Steadily brewing conflicts so painfully obvious as to engender a desire to shout "Look out!" mark the docu "Family Matters," a pitiless look at the whopping pressures created when a gay couple seeks out a woman to have and raise a child together. Engrossing docu is just the right length for gay fests and PBS.

Steadily brewing conflicts so painfully obvious as to engender a desire to shout “Look out!” mark the docu “Family Matters,” a pitiless look at the whopping pressures created when a gay couple seeks out a woman to have and raise a child together. Helmer/d.p. team David Noy and Yoram Ivry followed the triangle from their early meeting through to baby’s first birthday, by which time everyone’s shockingly poor insights into their own and others’ characters create insurmountable tension. Engrossing docu is just the right length for gay fests and PBS.

After 10 years together, Itamar and Kai decide to have a family, agreeing they want not just a baby receptacle, but a woman fully involved in raising the child. Classical musician Dafna seems the perfect match with Itamar, but as the two develop strong bonds, Kai’s jealousies mount and he feels increasingly like a third wheel. Animosities brew so strong that Dafna and Kai refuse to go near one another, and once baby Tal is born, lawyers are called in for mediation. No surprise to learn that Kai and Itamar have since split, commitment ceremony notwithstanding. Video quality is standard.

Family Matters

Israel

Production

A Cinemax Prods., production, for Channel 8, Noga Communications. (International sales: Cinephil, Tel Aviv.) Produced by Yoram Ivry, David Noy. Directed, written by David Noy.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Yoram Ivry; editor, Eyal Tsarfati; music, Ofir Leibovitch. Reviewed at Turin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Documentary competition), April 25, 2005. Hebrew, English, German dialogue. Running time: 61 MIN.
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