a beautifully told tale of love, loss and longing.
Like his bittersweet short The Burning Boy, here writer and director Kieran Galvin again takes delight in charting the emotions of love, loss and longing.
Only this time Galvin tells the tale of thirty-something Paul; a closeted man who still mourning the death of his partner Alex, opts to return home to his family in Queensland, an ill-advised decision, given the Alex they knew was nothing more than a friend of their son. Unable to share his grief with his family and seemingly alone in the homophobic surfing community of his birth, his only ray of sunshine is time spent with his brothersí children. Seaside fun, that sees him take to writing graffiti on the beach styled changing room walls, a toilet message board system that alarmingly reflects the sexual prejudices of the locals, just as it equally shows that he is not alone. Only who is the other gay in the village, that of a mysterious contact looking for friendship and perhaps something more?
Based on the short story of the same name by John Lonie and vividly depicted in monochrome, as intercut with colour flashbacks to happier times spent with the love of his life, here Galvin has triumphantly delivered a work that is as lovingly shot, as it is emotionally scored. Only in this instance, it arrives with a more upbeat ending than previous, even if the mournful nature of the narrative is all but ingrained into the celluloid. For this is the story of a son who has become a stranger to his family, unable to mourn the loss of his partner without giving away the true nature of his sexuality. That Paul sees in his friendship with another gay man, a means to be open with his feelings, is all but clear. Yet in knowing the age difference between the two, Galvin interestingly cuts the film short, that of a conclusion deliberately left open for you to decide what happens next.
For just how old is this flirtatious youth? How would their friendship have developed? And just how did Paulís partner actually die? Unanswered questions that tell of a short being - well, just too short. But oh, it's so beautifully told.
starring: Michael Teulon, Beejan Olfat (BJ), Jill McKay, Paul Godfrey, David Whyte,
Erin Mascord-Perez, Mira Sarac, Glenn Adnum, Kath Gordon, Leah Thomas,
with Ryan Brady Dunn as Young Paul and Alex Thorpe as Alex.