›› Swans - Svans ‹‹

a short film by Martin Reinhard.

2016 | 18 mins | Denmark.

a poignant lesson on sexual prejudice.

Dave says:

Based on a true story, this thought-provoking short film focuses on the life of Aksel (Jonathan Jarvel); a young man who loves nothing more than to hang out with his fellow teammates who are as much into football, as they're into girls. Yet Aksel has a secret, given he's in a sexual relationship with Alexander (Mikkel Møller); a youth who's not just open with his sexuality, but and to Aksel's annoyance, repeatedly urges his lover to be the same and forever stop lying to his friends, only for the man himself to fear that to do so would risk losing the friendship of the seemingly homophobic teammates that he holds close. Yet and as Shakespeare famously wrote, truth will out.

Overflowing with a series of wonderfully natural performances, at heart this is a work that follows a gay relationship that always played out behind closed doors, out of sight of the world and in particular from Aksel's Jack the Lad styled friends. To that end, Jarvel and Møller are totally realistic in their roles, between them creating a vibrant on-screen chemistry of two young men deeply in love with each other, only for your heart to go out to Alexander who yearns for the two to be seen in public, as one.

With fine support throughout and in particular from leader of the pack Peter (Mikkel Rishøj), the result is a short that is but a poignant lesson on sexual prejudice. Yet it's more than that, given this telling tale from the pen of Troels Linde Andersen goes out of its way to question just how well do you think you really know someone?

Not afraid to show male nudity when the screenplay dictates, director Martin Reinhard has delivered a work that cleverly juxtaposes the relaxed atmosphere of the opening scene where Aksel and his friends are totally at ease in each other's naked company, with a tense close-of-play that sees a return to the shower room, but now with the camera following Aksel's every apprehensive move, as he's set to not only discover the reaction of his teammates to his now outed sexuality, but moreover is forced to come face to face with the real homophobe within the group. It's a revelation that will surprise some, perhaps not others, but it's certainly indicative of a coming out work that's beautifully played from start to finish. Frankly, need more be said?

›› available as part of the NEW QUEER VISIONS shorts compilation - THE DANISH BOYS.
›› posted: Friday, 6th November, 2020.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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