Directed by: Lukas Dhont
Staring: Eden Dambrine & Gustav De Waele
A Cannes Grand Prix winner, Close is the story of two thirteen year old boys whose tender friendship is fatally broken. Director, Dhont comments that ‘It’s that childhood connection where love can still be love in its freest form. And then as these boys go to school, arrive on that playground, there’s one of the two that all of a sudden gets injected with consciousness’. The boys’ classmates are not demonised – there’s no bully here – but Dhont subtly shows how those throwaway insinuations impose an irresistible pressure on the pair. The film critiques societal norms from a different angle, delicately tracing the emotionally deadening but invisible frameworks of conformity that are imposed on young people in their most formative years.
It’s a quiet tragedy that’s rendered close to uplifting by its gentle grace and compassion, and by using the sparsest of dialogue the exceptional two young actors make you believe every painful, inexpressible feeling.