Review: ‘Paris Return’

Gentle, wryly humorous observational docu "Paris Return," from Israeli helmer Yossi Aviram, depicts the tender relationship of an aging gay couple.

Gentle, wryly humorous observational docu “Paris Return,” from Israeli helmer Yossi Aviram, depicts the tender relationship of an aging gay couple as ill health starts to slow the elder partner (the director’s uncle) and make him think of returning to his native land. More poignant than profound, the bantamweight pic will appeal to Jewish and gay-interest fests before segueing to broadcast.

Now retired, 75-year-old architect Reoven Vardi left Israel more than 50 years earlier, settling in Paris with his domestic partner of three-plus decades, sixtysomething Italian-born designer Pierluigi Rotili, in a gorgeous art-and-antique-filled apartment overlooking the Louvre. Grumpy Vardi has reached the stage where getting to bed early is one of the things he looks forward to most, and wants to be rid of once-loved possessions. Meanwhile, cheerful Rotili patiently waits on him at home and waits for him at museums, shops and doctors’ offices. While Aviram tries to explore what might happen if Vardi were to return permanently to Israel, it’s clear the attractions of Paris are too strong. As projected in HD at screening caught, low-grade tech package looked no better than that of a typical homemovie.

Paris Return

Israel

Production

A Belfilms production with the support of Makor Foundation for Israeli Films, ZDF/Arte, EBT Greek Radio Television, YES. (International sales: Belfilms, Tel Aviv.) Produced by Noemie Schory, Itay Kentor. Directed by Yossi Aviram.

Crew

Camera (color, HD), Aviram; editor, Sari Ezouz. Reviewed at Seattle Film Festival (competing), June 10, 2010, Running time: 71 MIN.

With

Reoven Vardi, Pierluigi Rotili. (Hebrew, French, Italian dialogue)

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