In a suburb of London, young Jamie is escaping sport hours, to avoid being the victim of his comrades. Young Ste, his neighbor, is beaten by his father, and comes to sleep overnight. They discover new feelings, sleeping in the same bed.
After his gay cousin dies from hepatitis, young Laurent, who lives with his best friend Carole, falls in love with Cedric, a plant scientist. He's afraid to inform his conservative parents that he is gay.
Nathan, 16, lives alone with his father Stephane. A newcomer in high school, he is invited to a party and falls in love with Louis, a boy in his class. They find themselves out of sight and... See full summary »
Tobi and Achim, the pride of the local crew club, have been the best of friends for years and are convinced that nothing will ever stand in the way of their friendship. They look forward to the upcoming summer camp and the crew competition. Achim's girlfriend Sandra is on the girl's team and he enjoys spending more time with her. Tobi becomes increasingly skeptical of their relationship. Anke, the pretty girl who has fallen for Tobi, doesn't make things any easier, then the gay team from Berlin arrives and Tobi is totally confused. The storm that breaks out the evening before the race begins is more than meteorological in this sensitive story about the complexities of growing up.Written by
Sommersturm (Summer Storm) is about Tobi and Achim who have been best friends for years. As cox and oarsman, they have helped their team win several rowing cups in the past and are now looking forward to the big regatta in the countryside. But this trip is no summer camp, and the problems soon arise. As Achim's relationship with his girlfriend grows more serious, Tobi starts to realise that his feelings for Achim run deeper than he's willing to admit to himself. He feels confused, unsure of himself and increasingly left out. When the much-anticipated Berlin girls' team is being replaced by a team of athletic,young gay men, Tobi and his teammates are suddenly forced to grapple with their prejudices, fears and perhaps their hidden longings. As the tension grows, Tobi, Achim and the others head towards a confrontation as fierce and ultimately as liberating as the summer storm gathering over the lake...
"Summer Storm" is an emotionally mature and honest film which deals with the issue of coming out with humour, sensitivity and understanding. The performances are excellent, with the actors and actresses tending to underplay emotions rather than hamfisting them home, which tends to happen in American teen dramas. The performance by the award winning Robert Stadlober (Best Leading Actor at the Montreal Film Festival, 2001) was particularly standout. All characters are identifiable and likable, and although some characters verge on the cliché, clichés are clichés because they originated in truth.
Director, Marco Kreuzpaintner and cinematographer Daniel Gottschalk make the landscape lush, tranquil, yet with a strong sense of isolation, loneliness and foreboding. Visual metaphors are seamlessly woven into the films narrative without becoming too cliché or distracting.
The film is un-hyperbolic in its treatment of the familiar themes of coming of age, the search for identity, friendship and sexuality (both homosexuality and heterosexuality). Sommersturm is a beautiful, moving and honest film.
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