Gay romance and chance violence
The brutal truth of Bristol’s rundown suburbs: teenagers giving a “happy slapping” (a violent attack filmed with a cell phone) to gay men and boys unfortunate enough to come across them. Gang member Cal is struggling with his own homosexuality and trying to squash his predilections. Unbeknownst to his friends he uses the Internet to arrange fuck dates with anonymous men. But things take a different turn when Cal falls for one of the gang’s victims, leaving him struggling between two worlds: the gang from which he is excluded and the more upper class, gay friendly world, in which he feels like an outsider.
This harsh British film gives no quarter and expects none, with its forthright scenes of sex and violence. The edges start to soften, however, when surprising feelings blossom in a previously cold and barren ground.
The young actors give strong performances throughout the film, especially Wayne Virgo, whose Cal goes through the emotional scale while looking for his identity.
Short film: Hoodie
Patrick Finnegan / UK 2009 / 8 min
A beautiful film of the secret life of a teenaged boy in Belfast.