Now Available: Men of Hard Skin

Teenager Ariel (Will Javier) lives a seemingly quiet life with his father and sister on their picturesque farm in a rural part of Buenos Aires. However, unbeknownst to his family, Ariel has been abused for years by Omar (German Tarantino), his neighborhood priest.

Still from Men of Hard Skin

Having confused his mistreatment for romantic affection, Ariel takes it upon himself to free himself from their relationship and soon embarks on a secret affair with one of the male workers on his father’s property.

Still from Men of Hard Skin

Meanwhile, as Omar continues to succumb to his urges, he forms a friendship with a much older priest who finds himself wrestling with similar desires.

Still from Men of Hard Skin

Hard-hitting and defiantly unsentimental, the new Argentinian drama Men of Hard Skin is a richly textured exploration of sex, power and ecclesiastical abuse as well as a complex and often confrontational piece of work, posing many tough questions.

Still from Men of Hard Skin

Watch the trailer for Men of Hard Skin below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 9/13/19

‘The Sunday Sessions’ is an intimate portrait of one man’s struggle to reconcile his religious conviction and sexual identity. Stream it now on Dekkoo!

Set in New Zealand in the early 1960s, this stylish story of family, revenge and forbidden love follows a young cowboy who drifts into a small town and starts falling in love with the local farmer’s son. As the two young men grow closer, they learn to stop fighting their desires and to start fighting their demons instead. Watch ‘West of Eden’ now on Dekkoo!

At the beach with his mother, young Pedro stumbles upon a hidden sexual playground. Stream the gay short film ‘Pedro’ on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: After an unexpected delay, Mr. Leather returns!

Pride Month Spotlight: Naz & Maalik

In this riveting dramatic tale, gay teens Naz and Maalik are friends, classmates, business partners and lovers. As the two closeted Muslim teens go about their regular daily routine on a Friday afternoon in Brooklyn they arouse the suspicions of an undercover FBI agent who begins to track them.

Kerwin Johnson Jr. and Curtiss Cook Jr. in Naz & Maalik

This complex tale of race, religion and sexuality features a pair of tremendous performances from lead actors Kerwin Johnson Jr. and Curtiss Cook Jr. Intimate and meditative, Naz & Maalik examines the mysterious forces that animate teenage minds.

Kerwin Johnson Jr. and Curtiss Cook Jr. in Naz & Maalik

An exceptionally well-crafted drama, and an auspicious feature debut from writer-director Jay Dockendorf, Naz & Maalik is now available on Dekkoo – one of our Pride Month selections. Check out the trailer below.

Kerwin Johnson Jr. and Curtiss Cook Jr. in Naz & Maalik

New This Week – 6/7/19

A surprise federal court ruling in 2013 legalized gay marriage for Utah – triggering a fierce battle in a state where Mormon church values control the Legislature and every aspect of public life. ‘Church & State’ is available to stream now as part of our 2019 Pride Celebration.

Hassan Kendricks is a conflicted teenager torn between his devotion to his single mother and his desire to be himself. When his mother, Andrea, finds women’s underwear and a flyer to a Gay Ball in her son’s bedroom, she decides to track Hassan down and confront him about his decisions. Stream the gay short “Walk For Me’ now on Dekkoo.

In the first Australian feature film to showcase Auslan (Australian sign language) a sensitive writer grapples with a speech impediment as his profoundly deaf boyfriend provides strategies to restore his confidence. Watch ‘A Silent Agreement’ now playing on Dekkoo.

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Coming next week: Dekkoo Films presents ‘Faces’.

Eyes Wide Open is an extraordinary portrait of forbidden love

Powerfully moving and quietly humane, Eyes Wide Open, Haim Tabakman’s, debut feature is an extraordinary portrait of forbidden love in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem community.

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Aaron (Zohar Strauss) leads a quiet life. Each day he heads from his tidy apartment where he lives with his four children and his wife Rivka (played by an actress with the unlikely name of Tinkerbell) to his butcher-shop to his synagogue to pray.

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Aaron is a tzaddik, a righteous man, and when Ezri (Ran Danker), a beautiful twenty-something man arrives at his shop in a rainstorm looking for shelter, he gives it. But something more happens as sexual desire develops between the two men. Ezri wants to kiss Aaron, but Aaron tells Ezri that it’s a challenge for them to pray about. Ezri takes Aaron to a spring outside the city, and desire bubbles to the surface between the two men.

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As their gay love is consummated, the love between Aaron and Rivka becomes troubled. And a self-appointed “God-squad” of Jewish thugs warns Aaron that Ezri is a they don’t want in their neighborhood.

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Beautifully insightful and almost delicate in its storytelling, Eyes Wide Open, is a stunningly essential film in the cannon of queer filmmaking. With not an extra word, frame or movement, director Haim Tabakman and screenwriter Merav Doster craft a truly gorgeous and unforgettable film.

Eyes Wide Open is available now on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 5/24/19

At her debaucherous 40th birthday party, serial relationship-killer Jackie meets handsome and charming thirty-something River-the perfect guy, who happens to be gay. Their ensuing adventures in self-medication, late-blooming, and questionable judgment lead them to discover a raucous new breed of primary relationship. Stream both seasons of ‘The Benefits of Gusbandry’ now on Dekkoo!

In this moving short film a family is transformed when its patriarch is revealed to be transgender. ‘Violets’ is available now on Dekkoo!

A married, Orthodox, Jerusalem butcher and Jewish father of four falls in love with his handsome, 22-year-old male apprentice, triggering the suspicions of his wife and the disapproval of his Orthodox community. Stream ‘Eyes Wide Open’ now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: A coming-of-age sports movie meets a tale of cyber-bullying,and sexuality. –The Hollywood Reporter

The Falls: Covenant of Grace concludes a powerful romantic trilogy

The third and final installment of a beloved romantic trilogy, The Falls: Covenant of Grace, originally released in 2016, follows The Falls (2012) and The Falls: Testament of Love (2013) in telling the story of two former Mormon missionaries who fell in not-so-easy-to-maintain love.

RJ Smith (Nick Ferrucci) and Chris Merril (Benjamin Farmer) were once practically poster boys for the Mormon Church: they were both Eagle Scouts with perfect academic records and pretty girlfriends. But once it came time to serve a mission and experience the Mormon rite of passage, things changed. They were paired up together… and fell in love. The strict restrictions of the Church, however, would keep them apart for some time.

Covenant of Grace picks up with their story many years later. RJ and Chris have been growing closer. Chris, now divorced but still an active member of the LDS church, lives in Salt Lake City with his young daughter. RJ has moved to Portland, and is a successful writer.

Chris takes a weekend trip to visit RJ in Portland, but their burgeoning relationship is thrown for a loop when the LDS church announces a ban against baptisms for children of same sex couples. They are divided about how to handle the announcement, and what it means for their relationship and their faith.

Even though he still has faith, RJ would rather just be done with the Church, but Chris is not ready to let it go. Chris goes home with the issue of their relationship still unresolved.
But when Chris’ mother unexpectedly dies, RJ drops everything to fly to Salt Lake City and be there for the man he so passionately, painfully loves.

After RJ returns home to Portland he struggles with his feelings about the Church and
Chris. With the help of his friends, he begins to gain some clarity about his priorities. At the same time, Chris is just beginning to understand that he doesn’t have to choose between God and love.

Don’t miss this powerful, romantic and deeply compassionate film – now available on Dekkoo.