›› Boys Grammar ‹‹

a short film by Dean Francis.

2005 | 8 mins | Australia.

the brutal reality of ritualized hazing.

Dave says:

Caught with a book devoted to the male physique, gay boy Gareth (Matt Levett) is given a lesson he won't forget by a bunch of homophobic jocks, in this well-executed, if unsettling short film. And unfortunately for Gareth, this particular lesson is led by Nick (Tom O'Sullivan); a cocky youth who delights in forcing Gareth face down on the shower floor, to be subjected to the inhuman act of sexual violation. Only is there more to this vile assault, than what at first appears?

Poignantly directed by Dean Francis, this compelling short was made to draw attention to acts of violence that habitually go under the guise of rites of passage; so called initiation rituals that begin in the name of good clean fun, but all too often end with mental and / or physical scarring for many. Yet such is the severity of its pivotal scene, that Francis would come to find his short film too controversial a screening for some, with its inclusion at the 2005 Auburn International Film and Video Festival for Children and Young Adults having almost caused the event to be shut down. Only the most alarming aspect here is the fact that this is not a work of fiction, having been based on a series of reports in the Sydney media concerning physical abuse at a private boys school.

Backed by a series of all too realistic performances and complete with a twist in the tale from screenwriter Rozlyn Clayton-Vincent, this powerful work by its very nature makes for uncomfortable viewing. Yet it remains one of the few films that has had the courage to address institutionalized homophobia, having laid bare the brutal reality of ritualized hazing.

Yet it's also a work that saw the early screen appearances of rising stars Daniel Feuerriegel and Jai Courtney, both of whom went on to star in the graphic television series Spartacus, whilst lead Matt Levett would later reunite with Francis in his striking portrait of repressed homosexuality, that is Drown. Enough said.

›› check out the Official FreeView on Vimeo.
›› revised: Friday, 31th July, 2020.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - sexual violation. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

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