Monday, December 14, 2009

A Love To Hide

Every once in a while a movie comes out of the blue that makes me sit up and take notice...fewer still, are the ones that move me to blog about them. Jay gets so many movies and some of them are real stinkers. But one movie showed up in our mailbox this weekend that redeemed Jays previous awful picks..."A Love To Hide".

The movie is french, in English subtitles and follows Jean, Phillipe, and Sara...three people clinging together for life in Nazi occupied France. The movie begins with Sara showing up, haunted and broken, at Jean's doorstep after watching her family be gunned down. Sara's family had been attempting to escape France rather than face relocation to an internment camp for being Jews. They try to flee with the help of a smuggler who instead turns them in to the Nazi's. Jean agrees to hide Sara in the apartment that he shares with his lover Phillipe. Complicated enough yet? well...Jean is hiding the fact that he is gay from his family. Also, Sara carries a major torch for Jean that began when they grew up together.

The movie goes on to detail not only what it was like harboring Sara away from the Nazi's, but it also gave us a little slice of gay life circa 1940. If your anything like me, I inhale anything that has to do with gay history. It was heartbreaking to watch as the main character is arrested for having one reluctant dance with a Nazi officer. He becomes reviled by his own people and the Germans alike and ultimately ends up in a labor camp. But that's not the end of Jeans torments by a long shot. After witnessing a fellow homosexual prisoner stripped naked, a burlap bag placed over his head, and murdered by flamethrower,...he rebels against his Nazi taskmasters...leading to his transfer to Dachau and unimaginable tortures...

I can not say any more, or I will give the whole movie away and there would be no reason for you to watch it. But I can say that this movie spoke to me. It made me think about how awful we can treat each other as human beings and how very close we are to the sentiments that make these atrocities possible. It was also sad to note however, even after being imprisoned and forced to die by hard labor... the gays were still looked down on..even by others slated for the camps themselves. Even being a Nazi officer didn't garner you special treatment or spare you a trip to the labor camps. We were regarded as a taint that had to be wiped out.....echoes of this thought still sound today in the voices of those who claim that we "erode the moral fabric of our nations".

I wish I could summon the right words to sum up this movie...but I just can't. It at times left me completely speechless with tears running down my face. But even though it was tragic, the love shared between Jean, Phillipe, and Sara was beautiful and brought a little light to one of the darkest times in our history.


  1. This sounds like a very emotional movie, and was thinking about renting it, until you mentioned the horrors it contained. I am unable to watch violence, of any type.....

  2. I have it there in my harddrive since ages, i went thrugh a face where i watched dozen of movies ina day but now i´m more of a tv person. every now and then i watch an under movie. But thanks for the recomendation.

  3. Ohh I have recomendation for you Bryan.

    I think the english name is Bear Cub, is an Spanish movie. I really think you should watch it as one of the main plot points is a gay man raising/adopting his newphew while fighting his sister mother in la, while showing his life fighting Aids, his sex life and friends, I have to say tha ti love that movie, and i totaly recomended to any one

  4. @SwAmPeX
    You have it on your hard drive? Lucky you. I can't find it anywhere... And there I was hoping to see a French movie with English subs (I actually decided to learn French to get additional points for Canadian residency permit)... Ahh, this movie is too old now (made in 2005). Sounds like a nice story. But right now I'd rather cry watching that frog movie.

  5. Oh, if we're giving recommendations, I have one! I actually just discovered it last night but it was absolutely amazing. It is called Les chansons d'amour and it is spectacular. It is a cross between modern french cinema and a new take on the classic movie musical.
    The plot is very hard to describe but it basically is 12 love songs and then the circumstances around them.
    The gay element doesn't come in until the last third of the movie but after it does, there is one of the cutest balcony scenes in the history of all cinema!!
    Si t'as pas besoin des sous-titres tu peux regarder un clip de la chanson As-tu déjà aimé -

  6. Interesting recomendations. We will have to look them up as Jay LOVES movies.

  7. I will have to put this on my list but not until after Christmas.

    The nights are too cold and dark to fill with Nazi death camp stories at the moment.

    I need to watch cheerful films at this time of the year!

  8. I really would like to look into this movie.

    I am considering going to Grad School to study the post-Holocaust experience of homosexual extermination survivors in Germany and throughout Europe (though it was mostly Germans who were implicated). It would require me moving to Berlin for a while to learn German and do some Research, but it is extremely tempting to contribute to the international understanding of gay history.

    I haven't watched very much "gay" cinema at all. Really, it has been limitted to Brokeback Mountain and Shelter - both of which I can recommend whole-heartedly. Now that I know of this one, I will definitely be on the look-out to pick it up.

  9. Saw 'A Love To Hide' a couple of years ago now, thought it was an incredibly good film. But it is definitely not one to feel you with festive joy, although of course some elements of the hurt done to the main characters still continue today in many parts of the world.

  10. It' on netflix, for those who have it. I just added it to our queue. There are a lot of surprising foreign and independent gay & lesbian films available there.

  11. My favorite gay movie of all time is "Shelter", I suggest you watch it!!

  12. I watched this movie a few months ago too, it's the most heartbreaking movie I've ever seen, I've been literally raining tears for the last 30+ minutes of it.

    I really recommend not watching this movie if you're very sensitive for emotional things (or in a depression or something), because this movie literally breaks you (or at least did for me).
    Especially if you take in mind that those things have actually occured in history.

    Though it's a great movie nonetheless.

  13. I just watched little ashes last week and it's still haunting my mind. I have watched a lot of gay movies and I should say Little Ashes tops them all. And this spanish movie Burnt Money comes in second.

    I so wanted to watch a love to hide as well but can;t find it anywhere online. Please if some one has the movie upload it in some free video site like MegaVideo or Wisevid pls!!!! so that anyone can watch it.