What makes the documentary The Invisible Ones compelling is not it’s content, but in its ability to hook its viewer into thinking that there is something more interesting about to happen.
Eschewing the more typical documentary that highlights a compelling event or person, filmmaker Sebastien Lifshitz focuses his lens on the stories of a number of gay and lesbian elders in France. While we do eventually discover late into the film that Lifshitz’ mostly nameless subjects have participated in some meaningful events in French history, the road to those revelations is long.
Interspersing his eleven subject’s mundane lives, which somewhat surprisingly consist of more rural than urban lifestyles, Lifshitz’s relaxed style only manages an impact for brief moments well into the film. Where the title and its subjects might suggest an exploration of the gay and lesbian obsession with age, it is only an implicit part of the documentary and when we finally get a glimpse into the activism of some of his subjects it is all too fleeting.
While The Invisible Ones may trigger a melancholy in the viewer, the weight of that melancholy only adds to the languid nature of the film.
Sun. Oct 7, 9:15 pm, Granville #4
Fri. Oct 12, 12:00 pm, Granville #4
Sebastien Lifshitz | France | 135 minutes. Playing as part of the 2012 Vancouver International Film Festival.
Visit http://www.viff.org for tickets and information.