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Best friends Szabolcs and Bernard are playing in the same German football team. After a lost game, Szabolcs decides to go home to Hungary where he meets another boy, Áron with whom they ... See full summary »
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.
A Sophisticated, Beautifully Realized and Courageous Film from Brazil
FROM BEGINNING TO END (Do Começo ao Fim) is the work of writer/director Aluzio Abranches who was born and raised in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He graduated in Economics before going to the London International Film School, in 1983. His first feature- film, 'Um Copo de Cólera' (1999) was acclaimed in several international film festivals. In 2002 his second feature-film, As três Marias (The Three Marias) also was selected to various festivals abroad. His latest movie, 'Do Começo ao Fim' (From Beginning to End) tells a story about two male half-brothers who fall in love. The movie caused tremendous controversy as some people loved the delicate relationship between them and others who were outraged by the suggestion of incest. Nevertheless, it is undeniable it was groundbreaking for the homosexual Brazilian cinematography, being selected to over 25 international film festivals, many of them dedicated to the gay pride and film production.
Though the feelings of viewers continues to be quite mixed, hopefully in time the film as an art work will be better appreciated. It is an exquisite study of family in a different light than any other film has probed. Julieta (Júlia Lemmertz) is currently married to Alexandre (Fábio Assunção) and they have a child Thomás who according to the narrator - the half brother Francisco from Julieta's previous marriage to Pedro (Jean Pierre Noher) - was born with his eyes closed and kept them closed except for looking at his new brother. Into this loving atmosphere the two brothers are close, enjoying each other's company in play and adventures and proximity. Francisco as a child is played by Lucas Cotrim and Thomás as a child is played by Gabriel Kaufmann. Thomás idolizes his big brother and Francisco looks to Thomás for secure love. The boys visit Pedro (Francisco's father) in Buenos Aires at Christmas and Pedro discusses with Julieta that he is concerned that the boys are too close, a fact that Julieta acknowledges but assures Pedro that this is normal in boys their age. At home in Rio de Janeiro Alexandre poses the same concern, but the two young boys are so happy and successful in school and sports that the subject is dropped. Pedro dies, then Julieta dies, and the two now grown young lads have only their shared father Alexandre to parent them. As young very handsome, athletic men Francisco (now played by João Gabriel Vasconcellos) and Thomás ( Rafael Cardosa) are left alone in their home and their relationship deepens into a physical one. The lads deeply love each other and their physical love is as wondrously portrayed as their love as half brothers. They exchange rings. They both are dedicated swimmers, but Thomás is better and is offer to go to Russia to train for the Olympics. The idea of separation deeply troubles them both, but Francisco's love for Thomás sees the importance to his brothers career and off Thomás goes to Russia. While the lads are separated they yearn for each other: Francisco attempts to assuage his longing with a young girl but his commitment to Thomás is stronger. The film ends in a statement of commitment and love between these two extraordinary men.
The physical aspects of the relationship are beautifully captured in the sensitive cinematography by Ueli Steiger: the acts are passionate but visually subtle. The musical score by André Abujamra adds another realm of power to the story's character. Each of the actors in the film is excellent. It is rare that broken family stories have been shared with such grace and delicacy. And both Vasconcellos and Cardoso seem to have a fine career ahead of them.
FROM BEGINNING TO END should not be labeled as a gay film even though it allows the viewer to see the power of same sex relationships in a beautifully described new light. This is, simply, a fine film and Aluzio Abranches deserves kudos for his accomplishment.
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