Seven young men alone in a deserted bar with a film crew and the sound of their own voices as their only companions. This device allows the spectator to scrutinise the micro-movements that cross their faces, and it is all too tempting: what is one of the boys thinking when he hears the playback of how he touts his clients? What does another feel listening to his own account of meeting an older man when he was only sixteen? The scenes recounted by these escort boys plunge us into their secret reality, but once again, nothing is more intimate than the faces themselves. Each seems to more or less agree with what they hear, expressed in German or Romanian: at times, they seem proud, at times amused, at times troubled. But as we discover from the outset, whatever they think, the images now belong to the film production. By separating sound from image, the filmmaker not only places his subjects in an awkward position – it is often uncomfortable to hear one’s own voice – but also protects them. A heightened metaphor of the triangular relationship between the filmer, the filmed and the spectator, Blue Boy is as ambiguous as the men that it shows us, oscillating between a contractual relationship and a well-meaning interest for others. But, while Manuel Abramovich ultimately glorifies those he films, this is because he knows how to render them in all their complexity – which becomes even deeper when we read the end credits.
Manuel Abramovich (born in Buenos Aires, 1987) is a filmmaker and director of photography. Combining observation and staging, he calls into question the norms of what is considered “documentary cinema”. His films have been shown at leading festivals (Berlinale, Venice, Tribeca, IDFA, San Sebastián, Cinéma du Réel, BAFICI) and have received numerous awards.
- PRODUCTION : Manuel Abramovich