This disturbing and heartbreaking film is an exploration of identity, friendship, love, and childhood innocence.
Set in Belgium, it is the story of of two 13 year old boys, inseparable friends who have loving families. They have a joyous relationship and do absolutely everything together – playing at Leo’s family flower farm, war games in ruined buildings, bike rides through the countryside, and sleepovers in the same bed.
Life is beautiful until they start high school when their sexuality comes under scrutiny from school mates who notice their closeness and ask if they “are together”.
Leo (Eden Dambrine) becomes self-conscious as he struggles to deal with guilt and suppressed feelings. He withdraws from his friend Remi (Gustav de Waele) wanting to avoid being ostracized, and makes new friends when he starts to play ice hockey, deliberately excluding Remi who is hurt and confused. The suggestion of homophobia pulls them apart, with tragic results.
Leo then has to come to terms with why he has distanced himself from his best friend.
This is the second feature film from Director/writer Lucas Dhont and Angelo Tijssens (Girl) based on Dhont’s own experience at school. He spent months working with the boys (who are brilliant first time actors) prior to making the film.
It has beautiful performances from all the cast and the excellent cinematography by Frank van den Eeden whose observational camera draws the audience into the actors’ thoughts and feelings.
Close won the Grand Prise at the Cannes Film Festival and is nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 95thAcademy Awards.
Spoken in French.
Showing at Somerville Nedlands from Monday 6th to Sunday 12th March.
Watch the trailer…