“PERMANENT RESIDENCE”— In Love with a Straight Guy

“Permanent Residence” (“Yong jiu ju liu”)

In Love with a Straight Guy

Amos Lassen

We have all been there—lusting after someone we can’t have. In Scud’s “Permanent Residence”, we explore the life story of a young man, Ivan, who goes after what he can’t have—he is impossibly in love with his straight best friend, Windon, and this causes him to contemplate his own life and the lives of those that he loves and that love him. We learn about the issues of love, life, dying and death.

This is a sensitive film about unreciprocated love and in the space of two hours we become aware of so much—aside from the issues already mentioned, we must also add friendship and betrayal. Ivan lives in pain and Windon comes across as selfish but that is because most of us will identify with Ivan. Windon uses Ivan for money and while he may, indeed, be in the closet, he chooses to follow the demands of society and not get involved in a same sex relationship.

The film includes funeral scenes and this is something we do not see much of in film these days. There are things here that nitpickers will dwell on but they are not that important when considering the film as a whole. Sure there are not many Orthodox Chinese Jews in Israel but the point being made here is about acceptance and the character is important as a symbol of issues that ay people face every day. Windon obviously is unable to deal with his suppressed sexuality yet he parades around naked when given the opportunity. He simply cannot return emotion and his frustrations become contradictory. Ivan, on the other hand, comes across as a poignant character and one who is content to have his love not be reciprocated.

There are problems with the film but I do not want to talk about them because the good so outweighs the flaws that to write about them brings them to fore. Suffice it to say that the cinematography is excellent as is he acting and this is a film that should not be missed.

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