›› Deep End
a short film by Bretten Hannam.
2011 | 6 mins | Canada.
principal players: Bailey Maughan / Dane, Gharrett Patrick Paon / Ian and Denis Theriault as Luke.
Official Synopsis: When Dane's older brother comes out, thirteen-year-old Dane doesn't react very well. But soon after he has to choose between siding with his homophobic classmates, or fighting to support his brother."
Short, but cutting straight to its story, this emotive work refreshingly charts the coming out scenario as seen through the eyes of a younger brother, a role that's beautifully played by Bailey Maughan, with Dane's inner rage erupting for all to see, furious at first, having witnessed the graffiti styled repercussions of having gay blood in the family.
Yet cut to the core of this work and the word "acceptance" is to be repeatedly found; that of the elder brother having accepted his sexual path in life, just as his sibling has to come to terms with the situation in hand. For it is here that writer and director Bretten Hannam plays with the A-word again, with Dane having to decide whether to accept his brother with unconditional love, over his circle of homophobic friends? It is a decision that rips through this poignant coming-of-age piece, as we see a young man torn between his love for his brother and the fear that he will be socially ostracized, by doing so.
Produced in association with the Atlantic Filmmaker's Cooperative in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as part of the Film 5 showcase for emerging filmmakers, the result is a gripping six minutes worth of adolescent angst, for whilst set in part at a community swimming pool, the deep end in reality equates to the deep end of life. Only for all of the positives of this way too short, a short, it remains too vague in parts, having flipped between past and present time frames, only to leave the nature of the relationship between the boys defined in text as brothers, but oddly not on film. Well played and shot, nonetheless.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - from the waist up.
Overall - file under ... 3 stars.