Shank
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Shank

UK, 2009, 89 Minute Running Time
West Coast Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Bisexual, Drama, Drugs / Addiction, Gay, Homophobia, Incest / Sexual Abuse, Sexually Explicit, Violence
Program: World Cinema
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Simon Pearce

An unlikely gay romance blossoms within the violent world of British gang culture in this gritty drama for the YouTube Generation.

Eighteen-year-old gang member Cal has little in his life but drugs, drinking, violence and a certain secret that he keeps hidden from his rough-and-tumble mates. An online sex hookup with an older stranger fails to quench his unspoken desire for Jonno, his straight (and frequently shirtless) best friend. Confused tough guy Jonno can’t express his own affection for Cal either. Nessa — their “crazy bitch” gang leader — suspects there may be something going on. Manipulating situations with brute force, Nessa sets out to confirm her suspicions and divide loyalties.

When the gang randomly bashes effeminate student Olivier on the street, Cal steps in to halt the attack. Fearing harsh retaliation, Cal speeds off in his car and chases after Olivier, who lets Cal hang out in his flat. After a sweet patio seduction scene, Olivier exposes Cal to a tenderness he has never known. Meanwhile, Nessa plots revenge. A brutal and utterly shocking confrontation in an abandoned factory leaves no one unscathed.

First-time director Simon Pearce (who is only 21) makes a thrilling and explosive debut, defying typical coming-out film conventions by embracing street culture and darker queer themes. The sex is explicit, the violence is harrowing, and the young cast is utterly impressive. — CHRISTOPHER KEECH

Text Voting Code: F112



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