The Lawyer Review, 2020,BFI FLARE

The Lawyer (Advokatas)

Written and directed by Romas Zabarauskas 

Starring: Eimutis Kvosciauskas and Dogac Yildiz

World premiere at BFI FLARE 2020 Festival 

You can find love in the strangest places 

Marius (Eimutis Kvosciauskas) is a high flying corporate lawyer, he has a nice apartment, a good group of friends but he is just drifting. Between jokes about misogyny and settling down it is clear Marius is lonely. One night he meets the handsome Ali (Dogac Yildiz) in a private cam show and he is immediately drawn to him. Ali is a refugee, currently living in Belgrade after fleeing Syria. Marius travels to Belgrade to meet Ali in person, he discovers that Ali is living in a refugee camp and he yearns for a normal, safe life. Marius wants to give him that. 

A stark look at privilege and wealth

The Lawyer not only explores wealth and privilege but offers a real insight into the life of an LGBT refugee in Europe. Interwoven is the blossoming relationship between two very different people from opposing backgrounds. 

Romas Zabarauskas has navigated the balance of social commentary and a romantic relationship. The film is set in countries where human rights and equality falls short of protecting the vulnerable. There is a risk of interweaving romance and social commentary of this nature, the narrative could easily have taken a dark turn. But, what we do get from The Lawyer is a balance of love, support, and identity. 

The Lawyer - BFI Flare 2020 Review

Ali challenges Marius’ comfort zone and The Lawyer challenges the viewers. We see how labels, how you are defined can affect your safety in refugee camps and the help you receive. We are reminded of the danger, the struggles, and the despair. Marius learns so much about what it means to be a refugee but also about the needs of the LGBT community.

The Lawyer is an eye-opening journey shedding light on social issues that are not discussed enough. It asks us to be considerate and more open-minded about people seeking refuge. Whilst also highlighting problems in the system. Marius and the audience are on a journey that challenges perceptions and ideals. We all come out better for it at the end. 

A note from the editor

Heather the Valkyries E.I.C was planning to travel to the BFIFlare festival, but due to Covid-19  this did not happen. The team behind the festival held it online and still showcased these brilliant films. It was our pleasure to take part and we hope to be in London for the BFI LFF again later this year.

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