Snails In The Rain | ★★★★
Every day on his way to University, linguistics student Boaz stops at the Post Office to check his mailbox to see if there is a letter telling him he has been awarded a Scholarship to continue his studies in Jerusalem. One day however, inside the box he finds a letter he has not been expecting, is a note from a secret male admirer who says that watching Boaz from afar is the highlight of his day.
The place is Tel Aviv and the year is 1989 when homosexuality was secretive and closeted and encounters only happened in the dark shadows of night. It was also the time before computers and emails when the mail was still the main way to communicate. Boaz has been happily living with Noa his adoring girlfriend for over a year now, and his life is seemingly as perfect as it can get. Now when these unsolicited letters start arriving he gets thrown off kilter and they suddenly reignite memories he had chosen to forget when he almost hadam intimate encounter with another man during his Military service.By the time the third letter has arrived, Boaz’s curiosity to the author’s identity has turned into paranoia, as he believes that every man he encounters in the street, on the bus, in the library is staring at him in a lustful manner. The fact that Boaz is played by Yoav Reuveni a rather stunning ex-international male model turned actor would make this a totally feasible assumption. It is however Noa, who suspicious of Boaz’s sudden change in attitude at home, who finds the letters and correctly puts two and two together to work out who the real writer is.
Boaz is now desperately struggling with his sexual identity so much so that when the 4th letter arrives and demands that he agrees to a pre-arranged way of signaling if he is in fact interested in returning his admirers affection, that he gets in such a state that he is about to explode. Or do something to vent out his anger and confusion that he may somehow regret.
This rather intriguing drama about repressed homosexual feelings and desire acutely brings back an era when lust was often hidden and unrequited. The movie was based on a short story by Yossi Avni Levy who is (most intriguingly) currently the Israeli Ambassador in Serbia. It was directed and written by Yariv Moser (who co-starred in it too) best known for his two excellent documents ‘My First War’ and ‘The Invisible Men’. Moser’s decision to cast first-time actors paid off well as Mr. Reuveni in particular turned in a pitch perfect turn as the perturbed Boaz.
And knowing how to keep his audience completely glued to the screen Moser heightens the air of homoeroticism with having Boaz constantly take showers at the drop of a hat too.