In what is fast becoming an overused genre, co-writer and director Cuong Ngo alongside screenwriter Matt Guerin have set out to deliver a beautiful take on the dutiful son scenario, resulting in a work that is as touching, as it is at times theatrical.
For here we find Vietnamese / Canadian swimmer Long torn between his love for fellow team member Ryan and the pressure placed upon him by his father to continue the family line. As his homosexual heart collides with the responsibilities expected of him, his duty bound marriage to the radiant Vanessa, is seemingly set in stone. Or is it?
Beautifully shot throughout, with the rich piano and string score of composer Mike Freedman perfectly mirroring the cross-platform aspect of the piece, be it differing languages, cultural backgrounds or sexual orientations, this stylish open-ended tale of boys in love is ripe for feature development. Not that this is any surprise when there's more than enough room for narrative expansion here, given we do not see Long and Ryan meet for the first time, nor do we witness their developing relationship. But then, this is but a cinematic taster of things to come, one that and as expected has Minh Ngoc Nguyen stealing the show, courtesy of her moving portrayal of a devoted mother haunted by memories of a love that could have been.
True, the homoeroticism of the swimming pool and showers setup is somewhat underplayed, even if many a manly physique is present, speedo style. Nevertheless, this reflective, classy and quite serene production clearly has the words "to be continued" stamped all over it. Need more be said?
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - strictly from the waist up.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.
Second Runner Up in the TLA 2010 Short Film Contest.
Best Canadian Short 2009 Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film & Video Festival.
starring: Minh Ngoc Nguyen / Linh, Long's mother, Ben Bela Boehm / Ryan, Kris Duangphung / Long,
Lily Nguyen / Vanessa, Viet Tien Nguyen / Phong, Long's father, Quoc Ha Ho / Trung,
with Kim Trang Tran / Princess, Josh Maltin / Coach and Stephen Shaw,
Ryan Williams, Geordie King, Joshua McKaye, Tyler Sarry, Wes
Wesley as the Swimmers and Tyco Tat as the Violinist.