›› Skai Blue ‹‹

a short film by Guido Verelst.

2017 | 17 mins | Belgium.

the plight of refugees fleeing sexual persecution in their homeland.

Dave says:

From writer and director Guido Verelst comes this poignant short film that tells a far bigger picture, than at first appears. It opens with a day in the life of Tom (Steven van Watermeulen); a lonely, middle-aged man whose mundane life isn't going anywhere. Searching for companionship on the Antwerp gay scene, only to find he's the object of desire for men he has no interest in, his need for sex and more finds him looking for men; dating app fashion. And it's by way of online hook-ups that he chances upon Simon (Adams Mensah). Meeting in person, their passionate encounter is swiftly followed by the promise of a burgeoning relationship. Yet Simon has a secret; he's a Cameroon refugee; a fact that forces Tom to make a decision that will forever change both of their lives.

Once again, the ugly face of homophobia raises its head and no more so than the plight of gay men and women living in Cameroon; a country in which same-sex sexual activity is not only illegal, but where vigilante executions, beatings and torture are alarmingly commonplace. That this powerful work offers a reality check as to the state of homophobia in today's modern world, is to its credit. And what we hear, as part of Simon's emotional plea to stay with Tom, is truly heart-wrenching.

Not afraid to show gay sex in all of its intimacy, along the way Verelst intercuts the narrative with a series of beautifully tender moments, together with many a scene that highlights the cultural differences between the two men. Yet the sombre message of this short is all but clear, being a compelling work on the plight of refugees fleeing sexual persecution in their homeland and how the LGBT rights that we take for granted in the West, are but a dream for all too many gay men and women living in other parts of the world. Deeply moving, goes without saying.

›› available as part of THE MALE GAZE: THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT shorts compilation.
›› posted: Monday, 12th October, 2020.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek, plus. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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