29 March 2010

Brotherhood / Broderskab (Nicolo Donato, 2009, Denmark)

The premise is gay love between a new initiate of a neo-Nazi group and a more seasoned member. It sounds like a lurid gay fantasy and there are definitely parts that play that way pretty strongly. The movie starts with Lars, a sergeant or something, being turned down for a promotion because of rumors he came on to some of his men at a bar. It seemed like this information may have been false but perhaps it's like The Children's Hour where a false rumor hints at something that might be near the truth... He's drinking with some friends at one of their homes and some skinheads come and start talking about the Muslims at the asylum center and at first he gets up to leave but he gradually gets sucked in and of course falls for the dreamiest, most secretly sensitive neo-Nazi you could dream up. Sometimes this movie is seems like such a sensationalistic, homo-fantasy that I found myself laughing a lot. What makes this movie remarkable, however, is that it really turns it around by the end. There were moments between these two guys that were really lovely and the drama that ensues is generally effective. I kept thinking, these guys can't just walk into the sunset because they've done some really objectionable things but it's also so boring and unsatisfying if they get murdered or end up all sad sack or hateful or whatever. You really see transformations in this film and I think the end managed to serve up both justice and a satisfying movie experience. I thought it was great. I'd recommend it to most of my friends, especially all the gay guys who inexplicably have endless fantasies about amorous skinheads... I was surprised at first that it won the award at the Rome Film Festival but it seems to make some sense now. B+

P.S., David Dencik is really dreamy as the Nazi rival cum love interest:

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