›› Ioana ‹‹

a short film by Simon Pfister.

2015 | 29 mins | Switzerland.

a vivid depiction of the reality of working the streets.

Dave says:

From writer and director Simon Pfister comes this vivid depiction of the reality of working the streets and in particular the dangers that both parties of the sexual equation put themselves in.

For this is the story of the life and times of Adrian (Max Krause); a young Rumanian who and in spite of all of the banking wealth and job opportunities of Switzerland, finds himself instead earning a living by selling his body at night to seemingly the lowest bidder. Yet this is a hustler on a mission; that being to earn enough Swiss francs to enable his sister Ioana (Josefine Voss) to join him in Zurich for a better future. Only the reality of life often gets in the way of plans that can end up going a-gley, as Adrian is set to discover when an encounter with an elderly client puts in jeopardy all of his hopes and dreams.

In short, this is one of those short films that you just know is not going to end well, with Pfister making the most of the city's underground, as if to reflect the foreboding nature of the narrative. Indeed, the sole light to be found is in Adrian's friendship with fellow rent-boy and roommate Sascha (Julian Lehr). And therein lies the negative in a narrative mix that's filled with pros, given Sascha is by far a more involving character; namely a man who may or may not be yearning for more from their relationship, than that of friendship. Only their relationship is left blowing in the wind, courtesy of the open-ended storyline. That said, it's the dreamlike fantasy sequences of Adrian with his sister that remain with you come close-of-play, as they poignantly reflect the life that both long for, yet for one will clearly never have. Gloom-ridden; goes without saying, but nonetheless achingly played throughout.

›› available as part of the NEW QUEER VISIONS: BOYS FEELS - DESIRE IN THE DARK shorts compilation.
›› posted: Friday, 5th November, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

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