The Stranger in Us
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The Stranger in Us

USA, 2010, 106 Minute Running Time
World Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Drugs / Addiction, Gay, Local Filmmakers / Subjects, Youth
Program: U.S. Features
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Scott Boswell

Like many young gay men before him, small-town Virginian Anthony, played by Raphael Barker from John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus (2006), arrives in San Francisco wide-eyed and eager to drink up his new surroundings. But the cozy bubble of nights spent writing poetry in coffee shops and playing house with Stephen, the career-minded older boy friend he barely knows, soon bursts when Stephen’s frequent outbursts of anger turn abusive.

Having moved into an apartment with a casual acquaintance, Anthony spends his days disinterestedly shoveling popcorn at a local movie theater, while at night he wanders the city’s streets, finding momentary solace in the beds of strangers and in the torch songs of a corner chanteuse (singer Veronica Klaus, in a lovely cameo).

Enter puckish cutie Gavin, a barely legal runaway and hustler who alternately acts as guide, enabler and watchdog to Anthony. But the cheap thrills of conning would-be tricks, cruising strangers and scamming free pizza soon wear off, and Anthony and Gavin must reconcile their longing for stability — something both associate with the damaged homes they fled — with their strong devotion to each other.

Shuttling forward and backward across time, local writer/director Scott Boswell’s debut feature is a bold, sympathetic portrait of the struggles, pleasures and perils of losing and regaining oneself in the concrete jungle.

Text Voting Code: F137



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