›› High Tide - Stille Dorst ‹‹

a short film by Claire Zhou.

2018 | 22 mins | Netherlands.

a beautifully told tale of burgeoning sexuality.

Dave says:

Escaping from the tribulations of his impending divorce, devoted father Tarik (Mouad Ben-Chaib) rents a remote cottage in the lush Veluwe forest of Gelderland in the Netherlands. Only peace and tranquillity seem a long way off, when he discovers that his hot shower is without water, forcing Tarik to enlist the help of Jonas (Joshua Albano); the twenty-five-year-old owner of the cottage. Spending more time at the holiday home than a simple repair would call for, the two men, strangers at first, soon realize that they have more in common with each other that what at first appeared, shared emotions that force Tarik to finally confront feelings that he has long suppressed.

And no surprise for guessing as to what the nature of those feelings are. Yet this beautifully told tale of burgeoning sexuality, is a slow burner. Not that this is a criticism; far from it. For here writer and director Claire Zhou uses the measured pace of the narrative to her advantage, showcasing a series of tender scenes between the two men that wonderfully build up to their sexual encounter, with Jonas' clear acceptance of his sexuality strikingly juxtaposing with the emotions of a man who has for too long played it straight, for the sake of social conformity.

Frankly, there's a lot to like here, in a work that with minimal dialogue leaves the acting prowess of Joshua Albano and in particular Mouad Ben-Chaib to convey the emotions of a man now free to explore his true sexuality and along the way, discover the joy of falling in love with the man he clearly loves. A pure delight.

›› available as part of NEW QUEER VISIONS: RIGHT BESIDE YOU shorts compilation.
›› posted: Friday, 25th September, 2020.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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