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Source: GagaOOLala

Lesbian couple Anna and Mara are returning to Italy from a lovely vacation in North Africa when they unexpectedly discover Anis, a Moroccan stowaway. Out of sympathy, Anna buys him a train ticket to Milan so he can find his relatives. When those relatives are nowhere to be found, Anna brings him back to her home with Mara. Mara is not pleased.

Source: GagaOOLala

The truth is, their relationship is rocky to say the least. Mara works at a shoe factory owned by Anna's family; by now, she's realized that though the two of them are a couple, Anna always has the upper hand when it comes to making decisions. This makes Mara uneasy, a situation which only worsens when Anna decides to allow to Anis stay with them without consulting Mara at all. Though Mara isn't happy about it, she has no choice but to let it happen.

Source: GagaOOLala

The film is rich with depictions of the world around Anna and Mara: the different ways Anna's mother treats her daughter and son; the assumed superiority of straight people over queer people; and the relationship between long-time locals and immigrants. All of these factors exert an influence on Anna and Mara's life together.

Anis's appearance breaks this delicate equilibrium. As conflict escalates, Mara's relationship with Anis, who in many ways is closer to her in social status than Anna is, becomes increasingly ambiguous.

Source: GagaOOLala

The original Italian title of this film, Riparo, refers to a safe haven. But none of the three central characters in this film is living the way they want; they've been forced to unhappily conform to society's mold. Anna and Mara once thought they could at least find comfort in each other, but the inequality in their relationship has created an opportunity for Anis. Each one of them is desperately searching for a place where they belong.

Source: GagaOOLala

In classic European style, this film skilfully presents a slice of everyday life, featuring characters not so different from the people watching in the audience. It's a simple but elegant love story, leaving the viewer with much to think about and much to savor.

Shelter Me trailer:

Watch Shelter Me on GagaOOLala

Author: Ting

Yi-min lives alone with her son, as her husband works away from home. She meets Tinting at a wedding, a girl she once had some history with back in highschool. Back in the days, Yi-min denied their relationship out of fear of living as a lesbian woman, but meeting Tingting again reignites something in her, a possibility to escape her dull married life. Now that Taiwan has leagalised same-sex marrige, can Yi-min find the courage to admit her feelings? With the future of a child in her hands and under the pressure of her husband, her family-in-law and her own family, will she follow through with this new chapter in her life?

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