THIS SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP tells of the tender relationship between a twelve-year-old boy and the upperclassman who is the object of his desire. All set in the rigid atmosphere of a Jesuit run... See full summary »
When 21 year-old Leo, the oldest of four brothers, announces to his rural French family that he's HIV+ family bonds are tested. The family decides that 11 year Marcel, the youngest, is too ... See full summary »
A particularly vivid and realistic portrayal of the emotional rupture between a father recently released from jail and his 12 year-old son, following a dark family tragedy that no one has strength enough to confront.
José Ramón Lafita,
Reine is supposed to go to a summer camp called 'Childrens island' but decides to remain in Stockholm over the summer while his mother is working at a hospital. She thinks he is at the camp... See full summary »
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 »
[before making love to Jeroen]
I love you... my prince. You're mine.
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Search for comfort during times of uncertainty and loneliness
The many favorable reviews hailing this film as a cinematic delight are well taken. The delicate subject matter of a brief romantic relationship between an allied WWII soldier and a young boy in the occupied Nehterlands received a beautiful treatment. Without becoming lurid or vulgar, it is implied that the innocent "child" and the young soldier engaged in a sex act.
Many layers of sub-plots surround the story. The people in the village setting appear deeply religious, constantly learning how to be proper followers of Scriptural guidance. Sermons given to the locals, amidst the visiting soldiers are both thankful for the liberators' arrival, yet warning the "young women" not to be tempting these men to be lead astray. It was a subtle switch from preaching in Englsih, to the native Dutch that showed who the audience for that particular part of the sermon was.
There are many references to sexual tensions. The teenage boys suddenly notice the physical beauty in teenage girls. Without doubt, there was plenty of "fraternizing" between soldiers and local women. The scene where the young main character is out "exploring" with a slightly older boy is charged with sexual innuendo. The boy's "step father" is quite observant about the "goings on", yet offers no direct objections, only indirect and vague advice.
The question of whether a mere child can give consent to sexual activity with an adult remains. The picture of the soldiers who came to liberate the town is one of men who felt entitlement. They felt they had every right to "have fun" after saving the people from their evil oppressors. Although the young girls, and even our 12 year old main character, were willing participants in any "affairs", the sense that the soldiers felt entitled to receive whatever they desired in exchange for their desperately needed Military help, and the many hand-outs of Life-Savers, Gum, Cigarettes etc. changes nothing about their feeling of power over the situation.
For a grown man, a love affair of a few days can hardly be considered "love", but for a child whose innocence is forever lost, this is an affair they will never forget. Love is something not to be trifled with. A child's innocence should be regarded with no less respect. Whatever the "feelings" of the heart may have been, a 12 year old does well to give it a bit more time before seeking that first love.
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