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a short film by Michael Pearce.

2010 | 17 mins | UK.

a glowing testament to parental love.

principal players: Martin Herdman as Mike and Bradley Hall as son Gary.

Official Synopsis:

Mike picks up his teenage son on his birthday so they can spend a rare day together, but soon realizes that there's a lot they don't know about each other over a long and difficult afternoon.

Dave says:

How far would a father go to reconnect with his estranged son? Well, in this strikingly different coming out work from writer and director Michael Pearce we get to find out, as we encounter the life and troubled times of Mike; a hard-as-nails divorcee determined to take his son Gary to a football match to celebrate his birthday. Trouble is; Mike's having a bad day, having lost the tickets, been conned out of a pair of black market replacements and to top it all, his son doesn't even like football. Oh, and he's gay, as well.

Not that Mike learns of that newfound fact of family life until the short's closing scenes, even if Gary is all but "making his own kind of music" from the onset. Yet it's Mike's reaction to his son's sexuality that may well surprise you. For and with a spoiler warning firmly in place, here we see Mike offer both his son and his boyfriend the outstretched hand of sexual acceptance. And whilst that's the way it should be, naturally, therein lies the problem with this work, for such is Martin Herdman's tour-de-force portrayal of Mike, that of a man all too quick with his fists, that his character's sudden change of persona, from hard man to all-accepting father is just too sudden; indeed it's almost as if we're missing a key scene here. In short, upon learning of the fact and in an expletive filled piece, Mike simply accepts his son's homosexuality within seconds, without a single four-letter word to be heard. Highly refreshing, even if the jury may still be out over how likely it would be in this environment?

That said, this is a brilliantly staged short, with Pearce wonderfully capturing the claustrophobic pub atmosphere of match day in London, a macho scene that finds Gary, tenderly played by Bradley Hall, clearly ill-at-ease. But as a glowing testament to parental love, let alone acceptance, if not compromise, frankly this is a wondrous work and no surprise that it went onto be nominated for the Best Short Film at the 2011 BAFTA Awards, only to be pipped at the post by Paul Wright's Until the River Runs Red. As ever, see what you think, courtesy of the good folk at Pulse Films.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

nudity guide: none, but heavy in expletives.

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