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Belgium, 2012, 98 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, GLBT, Romance
Programs: Cinema Q, New Directors ShowcaseLanguage: French English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: David Lambert
Producer: Jean-Yves Roubin, Daniel MorinEditor: Helene GirardScreenwriter: David LambertCinematographer: Matthieu Poirot DelpechPrincipal Cast: Matila Malliarakis, Guillaume Gouix, Melissa Desormeaux Poulin, David Salles
Paulo is a piano player at an art house that shows silent movies. Ilir is a bartender originally from Albania. They’re both good-lucking, and after some intense eye contact in the bar where Ilir works, they end up in bed together. Paulo is so drunk that nothing happens. And as Ilir points out, Paulo is really still in the process of figuring out his sexual orientation. He lives with Anka, a fashion designer, who knows his wily ways and his bisexual tendencies. When she can no longer stand his absences and secrets, she throws him out. He lands on the doorstep of his new friend and asks to be taken in. Ilir acquiesces, even though he knows it’s too soon.
Commitment and permanence become issues on Ilir’s side, and are interestingly portrayed in a sex scene. But the budding relationship hits a major obstacle when Ilir is busted for hash possession and sentenced to 18 months in prison. The beautiful, playful Ilir becomes something else, and despite Paulo’s faithful visits and his patient love, the relationship can’t go any further. Paulo finds solace in the arms of a middle-aged sex-shop owner who vows to take care of him, something the boyish young man could clearly use. When Ilir is released from prison, he seeks out Paulo in the hope of reigniting their passion.
Following in the footsteps of Weekend and Keep the Lights On, Belgian writer-director David Lambert tells this story of the flowering and dissolution of a gay love affair with a sweet melancholy. Beyond the Walls is Lambert’s debut feature film.
- VAL MOSES
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