The gifted directors of “On My Way Out: The Secret Life of Nani and Popi,” Brandon and Skyler Gross, are the grandchildren of Nani and Popi, and they handle the story of their Holocaust survivor grandparents’ 60-year marriage in a sensitive way.
This is not a home movie, but rather an intimate and insightful film exploring what at first seems to be the perfect marriage but ends up being a sham.
We learn early on that Popi has been a closeted gay man; later, we come to understand what Nani did and didn’t know with regards to her husband’s sexuality.
I sometimes felt like a voyeur, privy to information best kept private, but it’s a story that needs to be told, especially given the shift in attitudes toward LGBTQ people, ensuring that the tragic situation shown here will eventually be looked at as a historical relic.
At its core, the film explores the meaning of long-term relationships, particularly marriage, and the personal sacrifices people sometimes make to hold families together.
On another level, this film poignantly looks at the dissonance between how we project ourselves and our lives to the world, nowadays with Facebook posts and Instagram photos, and what our actual lives are like.
Indeed, it’s a wonderful example of the adage “You never know what goes on behind closed doors.”
In its brief 50-minute run time, so much is unearthed, and the impact on the viewer is palpable. It is one of the best documentaries I screened this year.
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival screenings: Feb. 11, 3:55 p.m., Springs, and 6 p.m., Tara