›› After Dawn - Passée L'Aube ‹‹

a short film by Nicolas Graux.

2017 | 24 mins | Belgium - Poland.

a bittersweet exploration of the dark side of love and desire.

Dave says:

Taken at a deliberately unhurried pace, this introspective piece from writer and director Nicolas Graux focues on the relationship between former lovers Pawel (Piotr Biedron) and Clément (Tijmen Govaerts) and their surprise re-union when Clément turns up unexpectedly at the flat of his ex.

Initially reluctant to welcome Clément into his now closeted life, Pawel wastes no time in putting a distance between Clément and the two girls he shares his flat with, ever fearful of being outed in their company. Only the heart has a way of letting the truth run free, as Pawel begins to realize the love that he has been missing. But as the two young men make up for lost time, it becomes apparent that things between them will never be the same again.

Tender and at times sweet, this engaging work has a wondrous romantic feel to it, given Clément is all but still in love with a man who broke off their relationship with words written on a postcard. No surprise then that this work is but a cinematic build-up to the moment when the two finally embrace their feelings for each other in an act of love that should be filled with gentleness and affection. Only here, Graux pulls the narrative rug from out under your feet with a scene so unsettling, that frankly it sits uncomfortably with what has played before it.

That said, Biedron and Govaerts play their differing roles beautifully in a short film that speaks of one partner longing to shout his love from the rooftop, only for the other to seemingly be willing to go to extreme lengths to dampen the sound of sexual intimacy, in this bittersweet exploration of the dark side of love and desire. Say no more.

›› available as part of THE MALE GAZE: NOCTURNAL INSTINCTS shorts compilation.
›› posted: Thursday, 27th May, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

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