Unconditional

DIRECTOR: Bryn Higgins

Expected guests: director Bryn Higgins, actor Harry McEntire

Owen and Kristen are basically well-behaved twin siblings who look after their disabled mother. But they’d like a little fun in their lives. Enter loan officer Liam (Christian Cooke, perfectly cast), who comes to their house to discuss a recent application. Handsome, charismatic and more mature, he manages to inspire desire from all three members of the family. Kristen is the first to show an active interest, but it’s Owen who goes out drinking with him. After a raucous evening, the two young men repair to Liam’s flat where a strange request is made—the older businessman asks the youngster to put on women’s clothes. “I’ve wanted this as long as I can remember,” Liam confesses, and Owen is inebriated and fascinated enough to accede.

At first thrilled by their subsequent secret encounters and invigorated by the deception when asked to “pass” in public, Owen suffers confusion and distress as Liam’s behavior turns more erratic, sometimes even violent. An astonishingly brave and surprising coming-of-age story, Unconditional convincingly demonstrates the malleability of sexuality and gender, the potentially dangerous ability of older people to manipulate and coerce the young, and the freedom that comes with finally realizing who you want to be. Owen’s transgressive journey, expertly conveyed by relative newcomer Harry McEntire, is a difficult one, fraught with danger and tumult but also liberation, and the movie is a potent reminder of the challenges and glories of growing up.

— ROD ARMSTRONG

This film contains graphic violence.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F144


Co-presented by:
Mostly British Film Festival

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