Film

Direction: Lukas Dhont

with Eden Dambrine, Gustav de Waele, Émilie Dequenne

Belgium, France, The Netherlands 2022, 105', French with german subtitles

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On a glorious summer day, thirteen-year-old best friends Leo and Rémi race through a field of chrysanthemums, deliriously happy, fleeing imaginary enemies. This pure, joyful image opens Close, a poignant portrait of teenage friendship doomed to end in tragedy, the second feature film of Lukas Dhont, winner of the Camera d’Or for Girl in 2018.
Leo and Rémi are inseparable, laughing, playing from morning to night, sleeping at each other’s houses, living in their own enchanted world of complicity and mutual admiration. This bond is suddenly broken on their first day of secondary school. A group of teenage girls ask if they are a “couple”. Angered by this suspicion of homosexuality, Leo immediately cuts all ties with Rémi, with no explanation, a decision that has irreversible consequences.
Inspired by an excruciating personal experience, the film unfolds in the realm of the unspoken. The second half sees Leo mostly alone on the screen, the unspeakable pain on his face almost unbearably intense. Never melodramatic, the tone is flawless and controlled throughout, until the final encounter with Leo and Rémi’s mother brings us to tears. More than just a film about friendship, Close is a great film about solitude.

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