Now Available: They

Through the prism of J (Rhys Fehrenbacher), notions of in-between-ness, be that gender, national/ cultural identity, or indeed the very puzzling idea(s) of “home”, are explored.

Fourteen-year-old J used they/them pronouns and lives with their parents in the suburbs of Chicago. J is exploring their gender identity while taking hormone blockers to postpone puberty. After two years of medication and therapy, J has to make a decision whether or not to transition.

Over this crucial weekend while their parents are away, J’s sister Lauren and her maybe/maybe-not Iranian partner Araz arrive to take care of J. During this time together, J, Lauren and Araz form an intimate family unit. Each character is in a state of suspension, of being in-between, of not belonging. J voices what all three feel: a reluctance to change, a desire to remain in childhood where innocence is still possible even as it recedes into the distance.

Watch the trailer for the moving, contemplative They below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

An all-star cast leads the moving family drama White Frog

White Frog tells the story of an extraordinary teenager on a journey to the universal power of family, friendship and love.

18-year-old Chaz Young (Harry Shum Jr.) is the perfect son – the most popular kid in school, headed for Stanford, and unconditionally adored by his upwardly mobile parents, Oliver (BD Wong) and Irene (Joan Chen). 15-year-old Nick (Booboo Stewart) lives in his older brother’s shadow, brilliant but isolated by his Asperger’s Syndrome. At home, Chaz keeps the peace between his father and mother while running interference for Nick, who is barely acknowledged by the conservative Oliver. In return, Nick completely idolizes Chaz as his hero and window to the world.

When Chaz dies in a tragic car accident, the family spirals into disarray. Nick soon becomes obsessed with cracking Chaz’s email password so that he can somehow stay connected to him. Violent behavior at home sends Nick to his psychiatrist, Dr. King (Amy Hill) who challenges him to cope with life through her alternative approach to therapy. With the first glimmers of self-determination, Nick tentatively reaches out to Chaz’s school friends to try making sense of his untimely death and keep his brother’s memory alive. In doing so, Nick quickly realizes that his brother had a secret life.

Chaz’s circle includes Doug (Tyler Posey), Ajit (Manish Dayal), Cameron (Justin Martin), and Randy (Gregg Sulkin). Nick becomes a regular at Randy’s guest house with his brother’s friends, gathering each Friday night for high stakes poker games that Chaz regularly won. Nick then wonders what Chaz did with all that money. He discovers “The Firehouse,” run by Ms. Lee (Talulah Riley), a center for underprivileged kids where Chaz first worked when he was ordered to do community service after being caught gambling at school. Learning that his brother donated over $20,000 in poker winnings to keep “The Firehouse” running, Nick starts volunteering and discovers a world outside his family’s bubble.

While Nick makes friends for the first time ever, one mystery remains: Nick still cannot crack Chaz’s email password and looks to Randy for answers. The truth of his brother’s life will change his own forever.

A powerful, moving film from prolific queer writer-director Quentin Lee, White Frog is now available on Dekkoo. Watch the trailer below.

New This Week – 4/24/20

Available now, one month before DVD!

Brothers-in-law Sasha, a meek farmhand, and Dima, a policeman, have always had a fraught relationship. When the two set out on a trip together through the desolate, wide-open country of Siberia, the pair soon become not only travel companions, but secret lovers. ‘Siberia & Him’ is a available to stream now, exclusively on Dekkoo!

Mickaël, a pig farmer in rural France, finds his search for an amorous connection interrupted by the sudden return of the charming and youthful Paul. ‘Magnetic Harvest’ is available now on Dekkoo!

‘Trade’ is the story of two men, one a streetwise hustler, the other a straight-laced lawyer, who meet and form a relationship that brings to light who they really are. Stream ‘Trade’ now on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: A film about the exhuberance of youth and first love. Mixed with juuuust a touch devastating pain and sadness.

Now Available: Greta

In the emotional drama Greta, seventy-year-old nurse Pedro (Marco Nanini) needs to find a hospital bed for his friend Daniela (Denise Weinberg). In an effort to free up space, he secretly takes a wounded young man into his home.

In spite of the young man’s troubled past, a tender, physical relationship develops between the caring Pedro, and Jean (Demick Lopes), his convalescent houseguest. Though Jean refers to him in vulgar, humiliating terms, the young man’s true intentions are hard to discern.

This affectionate and dignified cinematic debut tells a tale of friendship, love, sex and age. Surrounded as he is by sickness, death and other disasters on a daily basis, Pedro is possessed of the kind of strength of character that means he is not easily fazed. Not even when he makes a surprising discovery about his new, much younger lover.

Watch the trailer for Greta below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

Watch a short clip from the powerful new drama Label Me

No kissing. No passive penetration. For Waseem (Renato Schuch) the rules are very clear. Its only when Lars (Nikolaus Benda) pays him for sex that he can sleep with a man and still feel secure in his heterosexuality.

One of these men is a refugee from Syria living in a shelter, the other is a wealthy German with a loft apartment – the differences couldn’t be more apparent and yet both men find themselves connected by a sincere interest in one another. Their relationship is rooted in a constant alternation between dominance and a longing for closeness. The playful power struggle between the two of them reveals their inability to hide their fears and longings – and to keep up their carefully constructed facades.

While both men struggle to uphold the labels they keep in their heads, their friendship starts to pose a very realistic threat within the Waseem’s shelter.

Not quite a short film, yet not quite a feature (at sixty minutes) the multiple award-winning Label Me is a powerful cross-cultural romantic drama from German writer-director Kai Kreuser. Label Me is currently available to watch on Dekkoo, along with the first two season’s of Kreuser’s sexy and provocative gay series Kuntergrau.

Watch a short clip from Label Me below. The film is now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 4/17/20

‘Twilight’ star Booboo Stewart stars as a Chinese-American teen with Asperger’s syndrome who begins investigating the secret life of his late older brother. Joan Chen, BD Wong and “Glee” star Harry Shum Jr. co-star in this moving family drama from writer-director Quentin Lee. ‘White Frog’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo.

Fourteen-year-old J goes by the pronoun ‘They’ and is exploring their gender identity while taking hormone blockers to postpone puberty. After two years of medication and therapy, J has to make a decision about whether or not to transition. Stream ‘They’ now on Dekkoo!

International Chrysis was a New York “show girl” and drag queen. Surreal herself, Chrysis was one of Salvador Dali’s inner circle, a woman from the waist up, a man from the waist down. The movie penetrates Chrysis’ hidden world of transsexual and drag queens, hormones, drugs and prostitution, a dark world she lights up with humor, wit and glamour. ‘Split: Portrait of a Drag Queen’ is available now on Dekkoo.

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Coming Next Week: Two men fall in love in a run-down town of Siberia, Russia.

Short Film Spotlight: The Fish Curry

A gorgeous, deeply personal animated short film from Indian writer-director Abhishek Verma, The Fish Curry follows Lalit Ghosh, a twenty-eight-year-old man who decides to come-out to his conservative parents.

Lalit is in love with a man, his very own roommate, Ashutosh Gautam. Planing out his day, he decides to cook his father’s favorite dish, a traditional fish curry recipe he learned from a famous radio cook show. He prepares the dish with effort and serves his father the delicious fish curry and confronts his sexuality over the dinner table.

Gaining his family’s acceptance proves a difficult task, especially for his parents. The societal structure and prejudices related to homosexuality is huge, specifically in Indian societies. But will Lalit’s dad love the delicious fish curry?

The short trailer below will give you a sense of the style on display in The Fish Curry. The film is now available on Dekkoo.