To prepare you for 21st year of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, completely virtual-for-the-first time as you’ve never seen before, we bring you 21 previews spotlighting the breath of films offered for your home viewing. The films, which represent more than half of those in the AJFF lineup Feb. 17-28, include classics, intimate family dramas, upbeat comedy and historic documentaries. Sit back and relax as the AJFF brings us together through film.
“Sublet,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, is an intelligent and quiet little film about how seeing the world around you from someone else’s point of view can help you move forward with your life.
Michael (John Benjamin Hickey), a reserved, grieving travel writer, goes to Tel Aviv to write an article about the “real Tel Aviv,” not just the tourist side of things for his New York Times column, “The Intrepid Traveler.” Michael has just five days to get the inside scoop of the city. To help with his quest to live like a local in the new city, he sublets an apartment for the week from the down-on-his-luck independent horror filmmaker, Tomer (Niv Nissim).
After an awkward and mildly hectic start to his visit, that leaves Michael wanting to quit, his husband gives him a somber pep talk that leaves the Intrepid Traveler reluctantly ready to face Tel Aviv. As Michael starts out on his journey of discovery, he runs into Tomer, and in an act of self-serving benevolence, convinces him to be his unofficial tour guide.
Michael and Tomer are a likely, yet unlikely pair of gay men at different crossroads in their respective lives. The old versus young, experienced versus novice, timid optimism versus cautious realism debates pit the two against each other, yet the generational and the cultural differences lead to sweet and frustrating moments, as they urge each other to look outside themselves.
With great performances, “Sublet” reminds the viewer that you’re never too old to go after what you want, and it is important to mend relationships with people that you don’t want to lose; life and dreams are still worth the pursuit, even after devastating loss. An unconventional life is still a life to be lived, and despite your fears, you can be what you’ve always wanted to be.