Hidden Kisses (2016) France

Cinema Queer by Marcelino Rosas

Nathan is a 16 year old kid who goes to a party and ends up having a secret kiss with another boy. A picture is taken of them and posted on social media. Their world gets taken over by bullying and rejection. Can Nathan’s single cop of a father help him through this tough time?

Why do I like it? Why do I recommend it?

This French made-for-tv film put me through the emotional rollercoaster. It brought back so many fears I had growing up. I was always watching over my shoulder, wankers talking behind my back, challenging me to fights, calling me names. School can be very tough for a queer person. To be feared, misunderstood, to be made to feel like you are a freak, abnormal, or even less than human. It can be hell.

[Warning] There is a suicide attempt that for me was hard to watch (the scene cut a little too close to the bone since at times growing up I had similar thoughts). But what really pissed me off was the behavior of the other boy Louis’ parents. The way they handled their child’s coming out was just wrong. The father was a jerk and the mother needed a backbone — watch and you’ll know what I mean.

This movie got a strong reaction out of me — which is what great art does. And my initial response may have been one of anger, but not because the film was poorly made — on the contrary, the script & acting were so good I was able to completely relate to the characters and what they were going through.

Finally, what this film did best was show that ultimately, what counts most is loving yourself, living with pride, and having the courage to be YOU.

I learned this lesson way too late myself. So as idealistic as it may seem, what this film did for me is remind me of my sincerest wish that all young queer kids everywhere be allowed to seek out and find love and acceptance from someone close to them early on. If they can — if you’re young and queer reading this — if YOU can, you’ll end up much happier and healthier once you do.

This is a VERY good film and I recommend It.

Brilliant performances by Bérenger Anceaux, Jules Houplain, and Patrick Timsit.

Marcelino Rosas
Marcelino Rosas

Marcelino “Marc” Rosas is a novelist, essayist and film reviewer whose writing centers on the intersection of Queer and Latinx identity. Raised in Los Angeles as the eldest son in a Mexican-American family with traditional views of masculinity, his debut novel Afuera (Out) and its follow-up Fuerte (Strong) are celebrated for their passionate and candid portrayal of the challenges confronting a young man coming of age in a machismo-dominated culture as he explores and finally fully embraces his identity as a gay Latino man. A one-time fashion and figure model himself, Marc has always had a strong appreciation for the arts, in particular film. Thus his passion for sharing hidden gems of queer cinema via his film reviews with his ever-growing audience. When not at his writing desk working on his next book, Marc spends his time in the gym or traveling with the love of his life Pieter, his husband of many years.

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