a film by Benjamin Cantu
2011 | 84 mins | Germany
›› Harvest - Stadt Land Fluss / River City
a sweet story of gay love, farmhand style.
Harvest by Benjamin Cantu Tender and charming, here writer and director Benjamin Cantu delivers a remarkably realistic depiction of gay love, farmhand style, to the point that you'll know a lot more about agronomics after watching this.

Not that introverted Marco is aware of this yet. A loner ever keen to avoid eye contact with the local girls, his poor grades reflect a young man more at ease working the fields, than writing reports on his farming apprenticeship. Yet what he cannot avoid is the attention of new arrival Jakob; a curly-haired cutie who much to everyone's surprise has traded in a promising internship in banking. Only as the boys come to know each other better, it would appear that farming is not the only passion they share.

Harvest by Benjamin Cantu Set within an agricultural cooperative, here we find Cantu taking it slow, laying the cinematographic foundation stone of his film fly-on-the-wall style, as the everyday activities of an actual working farm and here think cows, carrots and corn, provide a down to earth backdrop to a tale of emerging gay love. Yet before harvest time, Cantu delights in playing as much with both the mental and physical distance between his two protagonists and sole pro actors, as he does with their polar opposites, with Jakob clearly at ease with his sexuality, unlike Marco who whilst aware of his lack of interest in girls, is still to come out to himself. The result is a film laced with scenes of acute sexual tension, as longing looks, subtle eye movements and stolen glances speak of a love that both boys are wrestling with, ever conscious of the reality of their situation and the homophobia that surrounds them.

Complete with sweeping vistas of the lush fields of Jänickendorf and backed by a cast of real life farming students / personnel whose improvised performances create a documentary styled feel throughout, this is a sweet story, beautifully told. That said, for some I dare say that there's all too much farming here and not enough gay action. But what there is, is so irresistibly heart-warming, that of coming out to yourself and falling in love along the way. Delightful.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue 21.November.2011.
screened as part of the 5th IRIS Prize International Film Festival 2011.
starring: Lukas Steltner as Marco and Kai Michael Müller as Jakob.
with Steven Baade, Florian Born, Eric Fechner, Christian Hahn, Charlina Ingold, Jan Jendruschewitz,
Felix Kaminski, Simon Kirmeier, Katharina Körner, Christian Sauermilch, Tino Trempler,
Tobias Weichert / the apprentices, Cristina do Rego as herself and
Karin Butsch, Markus Franke and Petra Thymian / the assistant employees.
Copyright 2011 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #446
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