›› Gilles ‹‹

a short film by Jordi Wijnalda.

2016 | 6 mins | Netherlands - France.

a graphic reminder of the shocking reality of sexual prejudice.

Dave says:

The ugly face of homophobia is to be seen in this troubling, if well-played short film by writers Wander Theunis and Ashar Medina.

Directed by Jordi Wijnalda of Lukas by the Sea fame, this is as far removed from that dreamlike ode to the search for companionship and love, as you can get. For here we find two young men at odds with each other; one seemingly of Muslim faith (Sofiene Mamdi), the other (Mattias Van de Vijver) clearly antagonistic to anyone who should cross his path and whose lives are set to intertwine in the City of Love when a night out clubbing, or not for one, results with them venting their anger on each other; street brawl fashion.

From a gay angle; indeed from any angle for that matter, this is not an easy work to watch, as here we find a good Samaritan's (Michael Muller) efforts to break up their fight, resulting with him being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, to his bloody cost. It's a graphic reminder of the shocking reality of sexual prejudice and how, in this case, two men of opposing views unite in their mutual hatred of homosexuality.

Muller plays Gilles remarkably straight acting; indeed if it wasn't for the intervention of his boyfriend from a distance and the line "let's go home" you wouldn't have even known that he was gay. Such however is deliberate, given the chilling truth here is that the narrative relates to all forms of prejudice and the alarming and frankly sickening attacks on those of differing sexuality, race or religion; assaults that leave victims both mentally and physically scarred, often for life and sadly many a family left mourning the loss of loved one and a void that can never be filled, thereafter.

Yet in a work that is but a sermon on how homophobia hasn't gone away and if anything is still alive and literally kicking, this is a film that strikingly illustrates just how a volatile situation can change in seconds and how in wanting to do good, you could end up putting your own life at risk. Brutally violent, but nonetheless an all too realistic depiction of the so-called enlightened times that we live in, leaving many to question - just how safe is it to be gay?

›› available as part of THE MALE GAZE: THREE'S COMPANY shorts compilation.
›› posted: Monday, 6th September, 2021.

Gay Visibility - covert. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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