a short film by Kieran Galvin
2001 | 13 mins | Australia
›› The Burning Boy
a well-executed, if ultimately tragic coming out tale.
The Burning Boy by Kieran Galvin Fans of happy endings may well want to give this achingly sad tale from down under a miss, even if its canvas of emotions is beautifully rendered.

For this is the sorry story of best friends Ben and Chill; Aussie teens who are only too happy to spend the afternoon swimming together, thereafter discussing Chillís favourite subject - girls. Or rather the reason as to why Ben never talks about chicks, given Chill has noticed the longing looks that Ben has been giving him lately. Only is Ben mature enough to recognise the open arms of gay acceptance, when they are held before him?

The Burning Boy by Kieran Galvin In a work in which your best friend turns out to be more than sympathetic to your cause than what you could have ever hoped for, writer and director Kieran Galvin here turns the tables on celluloid bliss, to deliver a throwback to the cinematic days in which to be openly gay arrived with a bleak bottom line. And no doubt many will be asking - why, given this well-executed, if ultimately tragic coming out tale is laden with many a tender scene, only for it to turn dark in the closing frames.

That a different conclusion would have undoubtedly pleased many, goes without saying, given the poolside fun and adolescent banter of the opening scenes is wonderfully played by the cast of two. Only in a short in which the title signals the poignancy of the storyline, a feel-good ending was hardly going to be on offer. For this is a work in which Galvin has stayed true to his recurrent themes of love, loss and longing, the result of which is a Romeo and Julian styled tragedy that is as dramatic, as it is bittersweet to watch.

Gay Visibility - bittersweet style. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 
starring: Cameron Ford as Ben and Josh Roberts as Chill.
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #311
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