›› PD - FAG ‹‹

a short film by Olivier Lallart.

2019 | 35 mins | France.

a captivating testament to having the courage to be your sexual self.

Dave says:

Seldom do I write a review of this length for a short film, but then there are exceptions and this telling work from writer and director Olivier Lallart is certainly one of them, being but a captivating testament to having the courage to be your sexual self, within the education system of today.

For seventeen-year-old Thomas (Paul Gomérieux) is that gay teen, with rumours of his true sexuality having spread like wildfire ever since a game of spin the bottle saw him kiss the object of his desire; namely resident school hunk Esteban (Jacques Lepesqueur) and a man only too happy to let his fists do the talking should anyone say he's anything but straight. Trouble is - he's not, as Thomas is set to discover when and much to his surprise, Esteban is only too happy to get up close and personal with him, provided that is - no one knows.

So it is that Thomas finds himself falling in love with a man who has the word 'closet' as a middle name, pretending to be straight so as to avoid the abuse, ridicule and the homophobic stare that Thomas endures on a daily basis. Yet Thomas cannot go on living his life that way and following some heartfelt words of advice from seemingly the only gay couple in the village, including the key line "they (their attitude) should change; not you", Thomas shocks Esteban on the night of the school prom with the ultimatum to publicly acknowledge their relationship, or else it's over between them. Question is; who will Thomas be dancing with when the end credits roll?

Beginning more Get Real in nature, before morphing into a Beautiful Thing styled ending, this compelling depiction of to thy ownself, being true has a lot going for it, as it poignantly juxtaposes words of outright prejudice with the outstretched hand of human compassion. To that end, both leads are outstanding in their differing roles, with Lepesqueur playing the two-edged sword of sexuality beautifully, knowing that his character Esteban has long repressed his homosexuality, doing everything in his power to appear straight, complete with girlfriend in-hand. Yet it's Gomérieux who by no surprise steals the show, as a teenager willing to show the world that there's nothing wrong with being gay. That their on-screen chemistry is riveting, goes without saying and in particular during the critical scene between them, one so emotional that in real life it left Gomérieux with a tear in his eye, as it may well leave you.

Complete with a life-affirming anti-homophobia speech delivered by the school's inspirational history teacher (Marc Riso on fine form), one so moving that it should be uploaded to YouTube as a lesson to all, frankly there's no doubt that this short is but a work of love from its director, with Lallart having gone out of his way to make a point over how the use of the word 'PD' / 'FAG' and all of the crude variants therein are used as a commonplace insult, by those who are all but blind to the mental anguish such words cause. Well-played from start to finish and in particular the closing "take my hand and kiss me baby" prom scene, I have nothing but praise for this pure gem of a short film that in resonating with taking pride in your sexual self, should be mandatory viewing in all schools. Simply wondrous.

›› check out the Official FreeView on YouTube.
›› posted: Saturday, 9th January, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 5 stars. 

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