Customer Reviews: The Visitor(Cibrail)
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on June 19, 2013
Cibrail (Sinan Hancili) is a Turkish policeman living in Berlin with his girlfriend. He has generally been somewhat repulsed by homosexuals, BUT underneath it all he hides an attraction to men that has obviously never been explored. Not until Marco (Engin Sert) arrives anyway. Marco is his girlfriends cousin who comes for a visit from Rome. There is an instant attraction for Cibrail who begins trying to deal with his inner feelings.

Marco on the other hand doesn't seem attracted in return but perhaps is supposed to be. Not until Cibrail is jogging through a public park and sees Marco receiving anonymous oral sex from another man, does he learn that there might be some promise here for exploring his sexuality with a man he actually sorta knows.

I did not hate this film, however it's really not at all the best choice one can make here. There is a lot of downers on this indie. For starters, the actors portrayed their characters well, but they lack the "feel" for getting their plot across to the viewer. There is a great lack of chemistry between ANY of them. Cibrail is billed to be a policeman, but in the few scenes he is shown with his partner on patrol, he is more like a rookie jr. cop. The dialogue is poor all the way through the film for all roles involved and the lighting is too shadowy in many places.

There are too many spaces with no dialogue whatsoever as it races through trying to set the pretense that Cibrail is coming to terms with things inside of him. He is supposedly in training for a marathon which the film for some reason never gets around to showing any signs of, or anyone else in Berlin training as well. Just one mention and that's all. Something about the Dr. said it's too late for this year, but nothing else stated as to what kind of medical condition may have delayed his training. Yet he jogs religiously with no sign of any other joggers, no advertisements, or public talk of a marathon. This is just one example of the sketchiness throughout this film.

No man pursuing another man in his own house would be so bold as to get up in the middle of the night and get in the shower with his unsuspecting houseguest with his own girlfriend in the next room and no locks on the doors, or closed doors. There are several such spots in this film where it is just too unrealistic for the viewer to grasp. There is however one very nice shower scene at the beginning of the film where Cibrail shows everything very nicely for the camera. It is the only full frontal nudity but it's just enough to get your attention and entice you to keep watching in hopes that things might heat up. It is also the only exhibition of a fairly decent looking male, anywhere in this film.

Sadly the plot never really picks up and nothing very steamy takes place either. There are a few butt shots and that's about all. If you have nothing else to do, this film will hold your attention throughout, but prepare yourself for a disppointment because it's plot and delivery are very weak. If you are easily entertained, you should like this one pretty well. It isn't a BAD film, it's just not a GOOD film. Should you be one of those people who are not at all easily entertained, I suspect you will not be happy viewing "The Visitor".
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on June 1, 2013
Not a whole lot exciting happens in this movie except that the title character comes to terms with his true sexuality. It is well acted with nuance rather than bombast which is refreshing. The nudity at the beginning of the film comes across as gratuitous to me, but otherwise it is very good.
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on March 25, 2014
This is a strange little movie. It's as if someone really, really wanted to make a gay movie but (1) didn't know anything about being gay, and (2) didn't know anything about making a movie.

What's surprising is that it isn't in any way offensive. In fact, it's sort of touching, that someone cared enough to make a movie for us even though he didn't know how, sort of like a toddler making a homemade valentine for his parents: it's so sweet that only a jerk could be offended by its naive amateurishness.

It's not even a particularly boring movie, although the last six of its 69 minutes are the end credits, scrolling so slowly you can hardly tell they're moving, while the most somniferous music I've ever heard drones along with them.

There are also many shots of a tall, ugly, perforated metal sculpture standing in the middle of a river, and many short clips of cast members doing things like swimming, or walking, and then fade to black. Only the director knows what those clips are supposed to mean.

The movie seems to have been made with a digital camera on auto-focus and auto-exposure, which I've never seen in a professionally released movie before. The acting and direction are clumsy at best, and there's no dialog to speak of.

Cibrâil is not a good movie by any conventional standards, but I loved it. I'm going to watch it again, now that I know what to expect of it.

So I can recommend it only to someone who is willing and able to receive it as a well-meant gift from a loving child, who can't yet draw a picture of you as you look to yourself, but very touchingly draws the love he sees in you.
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on September 14, 2013
This movie had a good build up. The cousin comes to town and the boyfriend starts lurking around his bedroom at night while his girlfriend is sleeping down the hall and the cousin lies asleep half naked in bed. And then one day the boyfriend literally crosses the boundary, into the cousin's bedroom, walking across the floor and as he lays sleeping, reaches out his hand and begins to caress the cousin's sleeping form! It's a little like David's Birthday in that way but this film sadly falls short after the discovery. From that point on everything that happens occurs so abruptly and the characters seemingly so indifferent I felt let down.
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on June 1, 2013
Underacted throughout, which could be a good thing (thus the two stars), this film is just boring. There is no chemistry between the characters, gay or straight. The characters are not particularly appealing or sympathetic, since the actors portraying them are given no material to work with. Indie film is a good thing, but cinema this dull doesn't deserve an audience.
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on August 11, 2013
Wow! What a realistic, natural, highly sensual drama of two men finding they are attracted together. The film is set in Berlin and involves a visitor, a handsome masculine gay man unleashing a latent homosexual undercurrent in an otherwise straight, stoic man. There is awkwardness initially, the barriers are broken down and then the mutual passion and raw sexuality unleashed. Quite a few twists and turns, ecstacies, loss of love and untamable mutual love and hot passion!! This is a gem in the new genre of untypical gay/male-male love stories set within the milleau of a rich cosmopolitan, modern city.
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on August 26, 2014
As other reviewers have remarked, not a lot happens in this film - a police officer Cibrail (Sinan Hancılı) tries to come to terms with his sexuality once Marco (Engin Sert) visits the apartment that Cibrail shares with Christine (Martina Hesse). Nonetheless Tor Iben's seventy-minute drama is far subtler in structure than might be first assumed. Set in the less recognizable areas of Berlin - apart from the Tiergarten and Alexanderplatz - the film explores the psychology of the outsider. As a Turkish tourist resident in Rome, Marco tries to come to terms with Berlin by cruising in bars, looking for any available pick-ups. They provide him with momentary satisfaction, but do not help him to overcome loneliness. Iben's film is full of shots of him trudging the Berlin streets by day and by night, as if looking for something (or someone) but failing to find it. Cibrail seems to have an ordered life with Christine, but finds a particular lack of satisfaction with her; the one sex scene we see involving the two of them is particularly mechanical in tone. It is only when he espies two men making love in a park that his true sexuality comes to the surface. From then on, he makes desperate efforts to löse his outsider status by finding love, even if it means a furtive nighttime grope with Marco while Christine sleeps in the next room. In the end it seems that Cibrail is doomed to a life of perpetual isolation as Marco leaves for Rome and Christine moves out; but the film has an unexpectedly happy, if admittedly transient ending.

Iben's cinematic style is quaintly old-fashioned; there are several zooms in to the characters' faces (and torsos) that are reminiscent of Turkish Yeşilçam films of the Sixties and Seventies. In thematic terms, however, this technique works admirably, as it focuses our attention on the protagonists' expressions as they try to come to terms with their fundamental loneliness. Perhaps it is not only the protagonists that experience this feeling; from the loving close-ups of Hancılı's naked torso at the beginning to the slow tracking shots up and down the lovers' bodies at the end, there is a clear sense that the director longs to participate (even if only vicariously through the camers) in the male experience of love.

A slow, absorbing film that not only shows one man's process of self-discovery, but simultaneously embodies the director's own frustrations as he seems unable to be involved in that process. He can only photograph it.
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on April 18, 2015
The visit of a wife's gay cousin makes her policeman husband face some truth about his own desires. The picture and sound are fair. The subtitles are easy to read and follow. Other than a shower scene in the beginning, there is no notable nudity, and the lovemaking is lightweight.
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on November 30, 2014
Interesting movie. The confusion of one man and the ongoing effects of that confusion and his acting on it is clearly shown, but only on the side of the main characters. It doesn't deal with the loss for the original partner, a woman, as she is totally removed from the plot, without uttering a word once she makes her discovery. The ending does seem to be a "convenience" for a happy ending.
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on June 17, 2013
The visitor is a great movie. Independent films tend to be more interesting that main stream cinematography. The story line is good. I'd wish I could had seen more connection of his work to the storyline; or maybe it was to reflect that he did not care much about his life.
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