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EASTERN BOYS (review)

OK-Eastern-Boys-ENG-POSTEREASTERN BOYS
Written and Directed by Robin Campillo
Starring Olivier Rabourdin and Kirill Emelyanov

EASTERN BOYS opens in the Gare du Nord train station in Paris. There are people everywhere, coming, going, and we watch the controlled chaos until we settle on a group of young boys. They have come from Russia, from Ukraine, but it isn’t quite that clear what they’re doing here at this train station on this day. One boy captures the attention of an older gentleman and you think things are becoming clear when they make plans to meet the following evening for paid sex. The trick is that nothing is ever fully clear in Robin Campillo’s surprising and touching film.

Without giving away too much, as that would take away too much from the film, the older gentleman, Daniel (Olivier Rabourdin) and the young man, Marek (Kirill Emelyanov), become involved at one point. Marek is a street kid; he has no home other than the hotel he shares with his fellow refugees; he knows nothing of love, be it unconditional or romantic. Daniel has a life; he has a job, nice things. More importantly though, he has life experience and has learned a thing or two about love along the way. This pairing is confused by a number of things to start with, not the least of which is lust. How they manage to find each other’s truth underneath all of the mess is moving.

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EASTERN BOYS is Campillo’s first directorial effort in nine years. In between films, he has been working as a writer and editor, working on Laurent Cantet films, THE CLASS and FOXFIRE. The time has done him well as he has found a way to be concise and clear in his intention without being the least bit obvious in his approach.

4 sheep

 

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