Starring: Maurins Boonstra, Henk Jan Doornbosch, Liam Feikens
Director: Joren Molter
It’s hard to be a teenager. With the onset of adulthood and hormones racing, it’s no wonder some get confused about who they are. In this short Dutch movie released by New Queer Visions, we follow best friends Alko and Björn as they begin to discover their sexual identities, which are forking in opposite directions. But as Alko lets Björn experiment, he doesn’t consider the social ramifications that, for him, are too much to bear.
This is a nuanced minimalist indie that captures the masculine desolation of northern Europe in a style akin to Bavo Defurne. These are teenagers within a small community, where working the land is as much a part of their lives as the happy hardcore club they frequent at the weekends. There is little vision beyond their town, greatly amplifying the seeds of any scandal within it.
A restrained film that finds as much meaning in looks as words, this is a touching coming-of-age piece that unusually spends its time exploring the homophobe over his victim. This is less about sexual maturity than depicting the pressure-cooker of a rural community. At times sweet, at times fairly bleak, the delicate humanism gives way to the harshness of this community as the soundtrack becomes bleached in the repetitive throbs of EDM. It really IS hard to be a teenager, isn’t it?