Lola + Bilidikid

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A courageous film from Turkish director Kutlug Ataman, set among the Turkish denizens of Berlin's sexual underground. Fifteen year-old Turkish immigrant Murat (Baki Davrak) lives in Berlin with his widowed mother and bullying older brother Osman (Hasan Ali Mete). Murat has been tentatively exploring his sexuality, but is suddenly faced with the full force...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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A courageous film from Turkish director Kutlug Ataman, set among the Turkish denizens of Berlin's sexual underground. Fifteen year-old Turkish immigrant Murat (Baki Davrak) lives in Berlin with his widowed mother and bullying older brother Osman (Hasan Ali Mete).

Murat has been tentatively exploring his sexuality, but is suddenly faced with the full force of sexual oppression when he discovers the existence of second brother; after learning he was gay, Osman threw him out of the house shortly before Murat was born. Murat's lost brother, it turns out, is a

transvestite who now lives mostly as a woman named Lola (Gandi Mukli). Lola's lover Bili (Erdal Yildiz) is a macho, temperamental hustler who denies the fact that he's gay, even to himself; he wants Lola to have a sex change operation so they can get married and live like "normal" people. As Murat

leaves home to reclaim Lola — and discover himself — he finds himself torn between the equally dangerous worlds of his two brothers. This is a bold, unflinching film whose graphic depiction of gay sex broke so many taboos that Ataman was forced to leave Turkey after receiving numerous

death threats. But it's also a remarkably perceptive film that explores the ways in which an immigrant's traditional values can be compounded by a desire to fit in, regardless of the personal cost. The story of Murat, Lola and Bili is contrasted with a second story line concerning Bili's brother

Iskander (Murat Yilmaz), a hustler who finds himself a German sugar daddy in Friedrich (Michael Gerber), a wealthy HIV+ architect with an overbearing mother. It is, thankfully, a much happier story, but one which Ataman never successfully integrates into the whole. The result is a bit of a

distraction in what is otherwise a powerful and uncompromising piece of filmmaking. (In German and Turkish, with English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A courageous film from Turkish director Kutlug Ataman, set among the Turkish denizens of Berlin's sexual underground. Fifteen year-old Turkish immigrant Murat (Baki Davrak) lives in Berlin with his widowed mother and bullying older brother Osman (Hasan Ali… (more)

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