“CIBRAIL”— Embracing Self


the visitor

“The Visitor” (“Cibrâil”)

Embracing Self

Amos Lassen


Cibrail (Sinan Hancili) is a young policeman who lives with his gallery owner girlfriend Christine (Martina Hesse) in Berlin. Even with his Turkish background he is integrated into German society and all was going well until his girlfriend’s cousin, Marco (Engin Sert) came from Rome for a visit and his whole world changed.


Cibrail and Christine work and this leaves Marco alone to explore Berlin. Marco is openly gay and he awakens Cibrail’s long hidden desires and before long the two men are involved sexually. Tor Iben, the director, says that this is a coming-out drama but I see it as something more than that because even though he was sexually involved with Marco, Cibrail never really comes out. He feels that homosexuality is a societal taboo and he cannot stand on his own feelings. He suppresses his emotions as so many other gay men do and therefore he is unable to accept himself. He feels guilt and shame and is not willing to fight to accept himself.


The film is actually about truth and Cibrail is unable to deal with the emotions he would feel as a gay man and as the film explores the consequences of a man who finds these new feelings but cannot deal with them. Therefore we are touched by the film and the way Cibrail sees himself. The film is small but the ideas and the actors are big. The director deals wonderfully with emotions and Berlin looks beautiful in the film.