Inside Out 2014: Alex & Ali – Documentary Review

Director: Malachi Leopold
Runtime: 85 minutes
Rating: R

In the 1960’s Alex met Ali while volunteering with the peace corps in Iran. For 10 years their relationship blossomed and together they found love and companionship. When the Iranian revolution broke out, Alex had to return to America, leaving Ali in Iran and countless miles between them. After a period of absence, Ali and Alex started communicating again, and for 30 years they exchanged phone calls and letters, hoping to rescue some of the happiness they experienced while being together in Iran. The film documents their journey as they finally reunite, and the process they must go through should Ali decide he wants to leave Iran and finally live a life with Alex.

Alex & Ali is, to put it simply, absolutely devastating. A love story as inspiring as it is tragic, it is completely worthwhile to delve into the world of these two men that for years fought for their right to be together. The immersion in the documentary is incredibly special because the spectator is able to follow this love story first hand, making the ability to empathize with the story even greater, and thus, it has an even more impacting emotional effect on the viewers. Not only is this work relevant when it comes to views on love and partnership, but it provides thorough insight on the deep personal effect politics and borders have on people that have been separated by these same entities. One of the best films the inside out film festival has to offer.

Rating: 9 / 10

Screening Time: Thursday May 29, 5:30pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 1