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Sauvage

The daily misfortunes of a lonesome rent boy are laid bare in this tough but tender portrait of life on the fringes of society.

Dir-Scr Camille Vidal-Naquet
Prod Emmanuel Giraud, Marie Sonne-Jensen
With Félix Maritaud, Eric Bernard, Nicolas Dibla
France
2018
99min
UK Distribution Peccadillo Pictures
Subtitles

Leo is a 22-year-old sex worker who yearns for affection. In poor health and with no fixed address, he finds fleeting solace in the arms of the men he meets through his work. The crushing solitude of Leo’s life is tempered when he falls for fellow hustler Ahd. But when his romantic feelings are violently rebuffed, Leo begins to spiral, questioning if he will ever find the love he so desperately craves. While the title might imply a wild, even feral, affair (and indeed this sexually explicit film comes with its fair share of brutality), Camille Vidal-Naquet’s arresting debut is also one of quiet introspection and disarming fragility. Such compassion is in no small part thanks to the remarkable Félix Maritaud, whose raw and vulnerable central performance is nothing short of devastating.

Michael Blyth

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