a film by Pascal-Alex Vincent
2008 | 77 mins | France
›› Give Me Your Hand - Donne-moi la main
a laconic relationship drama of the fraternal kind.
Give Me Your Hand by Pascal-Alex Vincent At times walking, often hitchhiking their way to Spain to attend the funeral of a mother they knew not, identical twins Antoine and Quentinís close friendship is set to be tested to breaking point in this intriguing, if near plotless feature.

For that is the crux of the scenario on offer here, namely the story of the opposing personalities and indeed sexualities of two blood brothers. Yet the trouble with Pascal-Alex Vincent's debut feature is not the direction; rather the fact that this is a work weighed down by a series of often nameless characters who the brothers promptly meet, greet and more often than not end up having sex with along their meandering cinematic path. Notably this includes Anaïs Demoustier as service station girl Clémentine and a criminally underused Katrin Saß as a woman whose longing for a sister reminds Antoine that the true meaning of brotherly love, is not a relationship based on endless verbal and physical infighting.

Give Me Your Hand by Pascal-Alex Vincent That Vincent uses this setup nicely to differentiate between the twins is a neat cinematic ploy, with rebellious Antoine having a clear facial scar above his left eyebrow, whilst sexually confused Quentin is constantly seen drawing cartoons in his notepad, the artistic side of his nature showcased by way of the filmsí opening three minute animation, one that depicts the brothers running away from their fatherís bakery in the middle of the night. Only you cannot escape the simple truth that these boys arenít particularly likeable. Not that this takes anything away from real life brothers Alexandre and Victor Carril who respectively cast as Antoine and Quentin take sibling rivalry to a whole new level, their physical presence and sheer fraternal bond giving real meaning to endless scenes, devoid of dialogue.

That the result is a haunting offbeat affair, that of a laconic love-hate relationship drama, almost goes without saying. Then again and in many ways, this is but a modern outing of the tale of Cain and Abel, with the garden of Eden clearly the beautiful French countryside and the at times, all too difficult to tell apart brothers bathed in the shades of envy and malevolence. That the promising gay relationship between Quentin and a cute migrant farmhand is not only cut short by Antoine, but results with him betraying his brotherís trust, lays the emotional foundation stone required for the final act, in a work in which the bond between the two brothers and that of their opposing sexuality is set to test whether these increasingly independent twins are still prepared to extend the hand of friendship to each other? Iíll say no more.

Gay Visibility - not much for the boys. 
Nudity - skinny-dipping fun. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue.
screened as part of the 24th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2010.
starring: Alexandre Carril, Victor Carril, Anaïs Demoustier,
Samir Harrag, Katrin Saß and Fernando Ramallo.
UK Cinema Release - 16th April, 2010.
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #286
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