Stealth  {Comme des voleurs}

Comme des voleurs

Switzerland, 2006, 112 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Bisexual, Drama, Gay
Program: World Cinema
Language: French

DIRECTOR: Lionel Baier

Directed by Lionel Baier (Garçon Stupide, Frameline29), this sweet, oddball story deftly shuffles between sex, family love and adventure with comedic grace.
From all outward appearances, Lionel is a happy gay man with a career as a cultural commentator on Swiss radio and a modern-minded family who accept his devoted lover Serge as one of their own. But Lionel seems to long for a psychic getaway, habitually reading Western novels and obsessing about conquest and gold. Moreover, an old family secret has been gnawing at him. Probing his father for answers, he discovers the story of a scurrilous ancestor who emigrated to Switzerland from Poland. It’s as if Lionel needed to dig up the roots of the family tree just to be convinced his life had any drama. Suddenly he’s immersing himself in all things Polish: food, language, etc. But things really heat up when he meets a pretty Polish immigrant facing deportation and decides to marry her, overturning his domestic harmony for a principle. A loopy road trip to Poland ensues, with Lionel’s social worker sister Lucy in tow.
The story is told with magnificent swoops of illogic as the characters follow their whims and passions, while also looking for a sense of truth. It’s a sort of queer, European What’s Up, Doc? with cute boys, including some who are awaiting Lionel in his “Native Land.” (Was this the point of his search for conquest and gold all along?) — SHANNON KELLEY


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