In Eytan Fox’s Walk on Water, the Sea of Galilee is paved with good intentions. Eyal (Late Marriage‘s Lior Ashkenazi) is an Israeli agent in charge of eliminating terrorists for the Moosad task force. Hired to assassinate a Nazi war criminal, Eyal gets chummy with the octogenarian’s grandchildren, kooky Pia (Caroline Peters) and gay Axel (Knut Berger), both of whom will unknowingly melt his terrorist heart. Axel knows his show tunes, wears a Miracle Worker T-shirt, and surprises his new straight buddy with his very intimate knowledge of male circumcision across the European continent, but it’s not until they take a trip to a nightspot called the TLV that a freaked-out Eyal learns that Axel likes to have sex with men. Over the course of the film—during which pair skinny dip in the Dead Sea, talk about what it means to be a top and a bottom, and Axel attempts to walk on water like Jesus did at the Sea of Galilee—Eyal’s grumpy demeanor becomes sunnier. Sweetly allegorical but scarcely complex, Walk in Water is a gay-straight buddy comedy posing as a salve for strained German-Israeli relations. When Eyal beats up and threatens to shoot a homophobe at an Alexanderplatz train station and Axel says something about all gay bashers needing to be killed, director Fox naïvely conflates all forms of violent behavior. Though this provokes a fascinatingly unspoken understanding between Eyal and Axel, Buffalo Springfield’s original and Shantel’s update of “For What It’s Worth” are there to repeatedly remind us that the film’s message is really no more complex than: “Why can’t we all just get along?”
- Samuel Goldwyn Films
- 104 min
- Eytan Fox
- Gal Uchovsky
- Lior Ashkenazi, Knut Berger, Caroline Peters, Gideon Shemer, Hanns Zischler, Carola Regnier, Eyal Rozales, Sivan Sasson
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