Set in 1942, at the time of rise of Nazis in Germany and France, this is a beautiful and poignant film that encourages you to wait for the arrival of the hero and the redemption of the evil only for neither to happen. Marvelous acting and a story that spans a few years, it is an emotional roller coaster that leaves you sad and shocked to see the kinds of ordeal gays had to go through during those years.
Jean works at his fathers laundry service and they serve all people include Nazi in Germany. Jean is his father's idol and his brother Jacques is in jail for a year for trafficking. Enter Sara, a Jewish girl who is running for her life since her entire family is killed. She is Jean's childhood friend and somehow managed to run and come to Paris. Jean takes her in, gives her a job in the laundry, and arranges for her to live with Jean's lover of four years Philippe. Jean and Philippe understand the dangers of hiding a Jew: Philippe also understands the conflict of Jean's love for Sarah, platonic but real, and fears Sarah's injured feelings discovering Jean is gay. But the three become closely bonded. After jacques is released, he falls in love with Sara but is thwarted by Sarah's continued love for Jean, rebuffing Jacques' advances. Jacques informs on Jean to prove to his parents that golden boy Jean is in fact gay; Jean is arrested but the arrest turns to horror when his sexuality is discovered and he is beaten and sent to jails and eventually the concentration camp in Dachau, brandished with the pink triangle forced upon gays the way the yellow star was forced upon Jews to segregate them and mark them for extermination. The manner in which each of the family members deals with Jean's crisis forms the dénouement of the film: Philippe is exterminated, Sarah and Jacques marry and have a son named Jean, and the parents alter their views of the idiosyncrasies of their children when Jean is released at the end of the war a lobotomized zombie. The ending is breathless and difficult to watch.
It is definitely a sad film with a sad ending but it is something that we all need to see and know and understand and feel the pains and plights of homosexuals during those years and the kind of hardships that they had to bear. In our age today, we complain of various things but we forget to thank that we still have things far better and easy for us in today's times compared to what they would have been many years ago. Definitely worth a watch although it can use some editing. It is way too long.
Thanks for this film. We need to watch it. (7.5/10)
Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.