‘Close’ is an emotional coming-of-age film co-written and directed by Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont. It depicts a beautiful friendship of two young boys, and how it is eventually tainted by homophobia.
The official synopsis reads:
“The 13-year-old boys Léo (Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (Gustav De Waele) have a close friendship at school and in the flower fields where they and their parents pick the harvest for home. When schoolmates shoot a wedge into the relationship, the consequences are fatal.”
After reading the 2013 nonfiction book Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendship and the Crisis of Connection, written by psychologist Niobe Way, Dhont was inspired to create the film, as he “connected” to it.
“When Niobe (interviewed) all these 13-year-old boys, she realized how lovingly they talked about one another. I really connected to that. I was also a young boy who felt the power of friendship but then started to fear intimacy as I went through puberty. It was something I had always thought as very linked to me being queer. I realized after (Way’s) research that it was not about me being queer, but about me being a man,” the 31-year-old filmmaker shared.
The Oscar-nominated film ‘Close’ explores an “epidemic of loneliness,” as young men are expected by society to be less vulnerable and less emotionally inclined, which is truly and utterly a toxic way of thinking that is still rampant in this day and age. Unfortunately so…
“We live in this society that tells young men that there are things we validate more than tenderness and vulnerability. We teach young men to stop caring for authentic connections and (be) more distant with emotions. It’s an incredibly brutal thing,” Dhont expressed.
In the film, Léo and Rémi’s close friendship is not judged by their parents, however, other students at school mock them for expressing platonic intimacy.
Dhont further noted,
“We are conditioned to look at that closeness as something sexual. We’re so unused to seeing that intimacy in a platonic way that we immediately sexualize it.”
In 2022, ‘Close’ won the Grand Prix at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Moreover, the film is available on Amazon Prime Video.
Sources: usatoday.com, theguardian.com
1 thought on “LOOK: ‘Close’ Depicts a Tender & Heartbreaking Friendship of Two Boys”
When I was younger I had such a close friendship with a boy in my class so similar to this movie, we started to get heavily bullied and picked on so I ended up pushing him away and being mean to him because I was so scared the kids would find out I was gay. Years later after we both graduated (he moved away) came into contact again after we both came out gay I heavily apologized for the part I played and have had such a great connection with him to this day.