“You just can’t reach in and click a kid on: ‘I love you. You’re transformed.'”
A gay graduate student (Richard Ryder) making a documentary film about child abuse befriends an abused teenager (Raphael Sbarge), and the two become lovers.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Child Abuse
- May-December Romance
- Movie Directors
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “extremely controversial” independent film — definitely not for all tastes — is both “thought-provoking and important”. There are many unsettling moments, including the “almost too realistic scenes in which the boy’s father and mother switch in an instant from being loving parents to monsters”. It’s clear that director Arthur Bressan, Jr. believes “a young adult becoming lover/protector of a teenager is a welcome alternative to his parents battering him”, but this view is contestable. See Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin (2005) for another interesting look at the not-so-clear-cut line between abuse and a consensual May-December affair.
- A provocative storyline without a clear sense of right-and-wrong
- Powerful abuse imagery, which allows viewers to truly empathize with Sbarge’s terror
No, though it’s definitely worth checking out.