In a perfect world, all screenplays would be perfect. I'd like to be able to report that the screenplay to "Un amour a taire" (A Love to Hide) is perfect, especially as it covers such an important, and hitherto neglected subject, as the reeducation of homosexuals under the Nazis in Vichy France; but, alas, it is not. There are holes in the plot, and motivation is often unclear. In addition, the viewer is sometimes spoon-fed images that are intended to underscore important themes, but which just seem contrived. I am thinking, for instance, of the moment when Jean's father puts up the sign refusing to serve Jews at the family laundry. Remarkably, a young, beautifully turned out, Jewish woman, and her son, just happen to be about to enter the laundry. Jean then gets a chance to show his humanity when he takes the bundle of laundry she has come to collect out to the woman and lets her have it for free. But even this kind of manipulation cannot undermine the film itself, the lynchpin of which is a riveting performance by up-and-coming French superstar, Jeremie Renier (also so very good in "The Baby") as Jean. He commands attention from his very first appearance, and he maintains it until his tragic last. The entire cast is good, although characters are often underwritten, as in the case of Jean's lover, Phillipe. It's not until the very end of the film that we come to know, and understand, Jean's parents. But I want to recommend this film as a history lesson, one that demonstrates what comes of the kind of hate that takes a particular set of human beings and demonizes them. The tragedy is that this sort of thing is still going on today, particularly in countries like Iran, which recently hanged two teenage boys for being gay. The tendency exists even in America, where hate-mongers like Fred Phelps summarily assign homosexuals to hell. I don't know how much a film like this can do to educate people, but I do know that such education is necessary. In spite of its flaws, "A Love to Hide" performs a service in illustrating, as in "Bent," how overmastering and dehumanizing a force hatred can be.