German gay discovers his Iranian roots through community service

Curious young Parvis (Benjamin Radjaipour) doesn’t mind quick sex dates without exchanging any personal information. But the fact that anonymous lovers call him ‘exotic’ or ‘Turk’ as a born German with Iranian roots is always a major turn-off. He may be in a western way out and proud he actually feels more at home among the asylum seekers whose cultural background he shares.

In the reception center where he does volunteer work as community service after a minor offense, he quickly clicks with the homosexual Amon (Eidin Jalali) and his older sister Banafshe. The close connection that the three feel puts a brake on Parvis’s hedonistic lifestyle and forces him to ask bigger questions in life: who am I, where do I come from, what is my place in the world? At the same time, the possible rejection of Amun and Banafshe’s asylum application hangs over their time like a sword of Damokles. It complicates the love triangle and the strong feelings the two men develop for each other.

Future Drei is a brave, energetic, partly autobiographical debut by 28-year-old German-Iranian director Faraz Shariat. The film-maker himself worked for a long time in an asylum seekers’ center. His story cleverly and organically connects major urgent themes: the faltering refugee policy and the restlessness of new status holders, dormant racism and increasing homophobia. Shariat forces the viewer in a fairly unemphatic manner into the shoes of characters who are not featured enough in films. It got him at the Berlin festival, where Future Drei premiered, two awards.

The thoughtful visual flair with which the young director shapes the story also makes the viewer quickly forgive his rookie mistakes. Because Shariat seems to get lost in his enormous ambitions towards the end, making the final feel a bit out of control.

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