THIS SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP tells of the tender relationship between a twelve-year-old boy and the upperclass man who is the object of his desire. All set in the rigid atmosphere of a ... See full summary »
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The story of a romantic relationship between a grown-up and a child. Set in the Netherlands near the end of WWII, the film is a flashback recalling an adolescent relationship between Jeroen and a Canadian soldier. A difficult subject handled with style and feeling. Written by
Although the story takes place during World War II, the backdrop set used in the show that the Canadian soldiers put on for the townspeople features a red-and-white maple leaf Canadian flag, not adopted until 1965. See more »
A thought provoking film - and a very sensitive subject
A haunting film, sympathetically tackled from the child's perspective. It seems that there are large (and probably important) sections of the book which are not covered in the film. It is difficult, therefore, to completely understand Jeroen's feelings for his 'buddy'.
Whilst the boy's distance from his parents (mother only?) as an evacuee is clear early on there would appear to be a loneliness which is not truly explored. Jeroen gains some attachment to the (father) man of the house whilst appearing alienated from the children (especially the son) and the youngsters evacuated with him.
One is left with the impression that this is a genuine love and true friendship (which both protagonists need - they are both a distance from their families after all) between a boy and a young man and there is no sense of the 'darker side' of how that relationship was initiated by the older of the two - albeit the one muted sex scene would not have been shown in a UK-made film I am sure.
The man does not handle his departure well. If he truly cared for the boy then he certainly did not prepare him for the loss which impacted the rest of Jeroen's life.
I would like to read the book - but there appear to be only two in the world for sale at extortionate prices. This film needs a sympathetic viewing from those whose own lives may mirror some of the events in some way.
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