DIRECTOR: Mischa Kamp

In this sweet and tender Dutch drama, sparks fly when two teenage boys are romantically drawn to each other while training for a national track relay championship. The solitude of running as a backdrop for the adolescent gay experience reveals contrasting examples of inner strength and self-assurance. Not to imply that the main character is a lonely outcast—quite the contrary: 15-year-old Sieger is quiet but social and athletic, and he has a fairly ordinary home life with his attentive widowed father and rebellious older brother. He’s naturally intrigued by the charming Marc, who seems much more confident in his own skin. Director Mischa Kamp manages to capture all of the delicate nuances that dictate initial encounters with attraction and desire. In her capable hands, Boys becomes a universal story about the innocent wonder, excitement, fear, and uncertainty of first love. The film is refreshing in that most of the tension comes from Sieger’s inner struggle, not from any disapproving voices around him. The gay coming-of-age genre has produced many classic movies, but each generation deserves something new to embrace. As long as the right ingredients are there, it pretty much boils down to skill and a fresh point of view, and Kamp has proven to be a sensitive master.

— Chris Keech

In Dutch with English subtitles.

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